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Screening for biosurfactant producing bacteria from oil samples of a Brazilian offshore oil reservoir

Grant number: 14/16007-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Nelma Regina Segnini Bossolan
Grantee:Karen Freire Carvalho
Host Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Biosurfactants are molecules produced by microorganisms that have the ability to lower the surface tension of liquids, or form and stabilize emulsions. These properties are related to the amphipathic character of the molecule and have various industrial applications. Among the potential applications of biosurfactants, the oil industry is one of the major markets for these compounds which may be used in processes like MEOR (microbial enhanced of oil recovery) and bioremediation of hydrocarbons. The use in MEOR processes often involve exposure of the microorganisms to extremes of temperature, ionic pressure, pH, salinity, requiring the continuous isolation of microorganisms that can be active in extreme conditions. In this context, we proposed a study to assess the presence of surfactant-producing bacterial strains from oil of a offshore Brazilian reservoir.Selective cultures in liquid medium inoculated with samples of oil reservoir will be the first step for the isolation of these microorganisms. The isolates will be tested for biosurfactant production in different growth conditions (incubation temperature, salinity of the medium, carbon source).

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