Bioresource Technology, Vol.102, No.10, 6153-6158, 2011
Exopolysaccharide production by a genetically engineered Enterobacter cloacae strain for microbial enhanced oil recovery
Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is a petroleum biotechnology for manipulating function and/or structure of microbial environments existing in oil reservoirs for prolonged exploitation of the largest source of energy. In this study, an Enterobacter cloacae which is capable of producing water-insoluble bio-polymers at 37 degrees C and a thermophilic Geobacillus strain were used to construct an engineered strain for exopolysaccharide production at higher temperature. The resultant transformants, GW3-3.0, could produce exopolysaccharide up to 8.83 g l(-1) in molasses medium at 54 degrees C. This elevated temperature was within the same temperature range as that for many oil reservoirs. The transformants had stable genetic phenotype which was genetically fingerprinted by RAPD analysis. Core flooding experiments were carried out to ensure effective controlled profile for the simulation of oil recovery. The results have demonstrated that this approach has a promising application potential in MEOR. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.