22 Mar '16
Biologists at the Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU) are ready to offer oil producers 100 types of germs that can dispose of oil and its products in oil spills even at negative temperatures in the northern seas. For this project, MSU partnered with Innopraktika, its tech commercialization arm that helps MSU bring its discoveries to market, and Rosneft, one of Russia’s largest state-owned oil companies.
The project marks a new stage in the study of oil-devouring microorganisms. In southern seas, the bacteria have been researched into since the 1950s. In the freezing cold of northern seas, however, the germs are much fewer, and their metabolism and the pace of propagation are slower.
The use of microorganisms that can decompose oil and petroleum products appears to be an efficient way of countering oil spills in offshore hydrocarbon production projects both on the water and on ship decks / oil rigs.
There have been no oil spills in the Arctic so far. However, with Russia’s renewed vigor in exploring the Arctic shelf, domestic oil producers are expected to guarantee the eco-friendliness of their future efforts. The new MSU project can lend them a hand in this.
The microorganisms the MSU researchers are working on are said to be able to multiply and devour oil fractions in a fairly broad range of low temperatures from minus 4 to plus 15 degrees Celsius.