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Bugs for cleaning up sludge.

Bugs for cleaning up sludge

Recovering crude oil from thick sludges at the bottom of storage tanks is proving to be easier with the use of a chemical obtained from living microorganisms. The microbes are specially selected mutations of naturally occurring bacterial strains, says Ananda M. Chakrabarty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who developed the bugs (SN: 4/18/81, p.246).

In a recent test, the chemical, which behaves like a detergent, was added to a 180,000-barrel storage tank containing about 6,200 barrels of sludge. After four days, workers were able to extract 5,600 barrels of crude oil from the waste. "Not only did the process help the firm reduce its waste," says Chakrabarty, "the company made money from the additional oil recovered." Petrogen, Inc., of Arlington Heights, Ill., conducted the test.
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Title Annotation:microbes used to recycle petroleum waste
Author:Weiss, Rick
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 27, 1988
Words:138
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