Agriculture
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Fast-flying fungal spores
Amphibians
Newts
Tree Frogs
Toads
Animals
Cannibal Crickets
Living in the Desert
Glimpses of a Legendary Woodpecker
Behavior
A Light Delay
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
The Science Fair Circuit
Birds
Eagles
Ospreys
Quails
Chemistry and Materials
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
The hottest soup in New York
The newest superheavy in town
Computers
A Light Delay
Supersonic Splash
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
Mini T. rex
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
A Great Quake Coming?
Island of Hope
Environment
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Finding the Past
Ancient Cave Behavior
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Fish
Bass
Tilapia
Megamouth Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
Chocolate Rules
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Who vs. That vs. Which
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Play for Science
Human Body
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Teen Brains, Under Construction
Invertebrates
Lobsters
Cockroaches
Lice
Mammals
Canines
Rabbits
Great Danes
Parents
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Physics
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Dreams of Floating in Space
The Particle Zoo
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Surprise Visitor
Springing forward
Reptiles
Sea Turtles
Gila Monsters
Chameleons
Space and Astronomy
Saturn's Spongy Moon
Baby Star
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
Algae Motors
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Reach for the Sky
Where rivers run uphill
Robots on a Rocky Road
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Arctic Melt
Add your Article

Squeezing Oil from Old Wells

Oil fuels the lives of most people around the world. We use it to power our cars and planes, heat our homes, and even manufacture shoes, plastic bottles, and other products. Without it, the world would be a very different place. Oil can be pumped out of the ground only in certain places, however, and there's a limited supply. Now, scientists have found an unusual way to squeeze additional crude oil out of wells that were thought to be tapped out. They're using microbes to help extract the trapped oil. In the United States alone, about 380 billion barrels of oil lie buried underground in places that are hard to get to—trapped inside porous rocks, for example, or stuck to grains of sand. Bacteria of a group known as Bacillus make a waste product that works like a laundry detergent. Adding such microbes to oil wells could release trapped oil in the same way that laundry detergent lifts stains out of clothing. To test the idea in the lab, researchers injected a mixture of Bacillus bacteria and nutrients into a column of sand that also held oil. They found that, under the right conditions, the microbes unleashed up to 40 percent of the trapped oil. Next, the research team shut off the oil pumps at a site near the town of Oil Center, Okla. In two oil wells, they injected a solution of Bacillus bacteria along with nutrients for the bacteria to live on. In two other wells, they injected just nutrients. And, in a fifth well, they injected only water. The bacteria had 4 days to work their magic. Then, the scientists turned the pumps back on and collected liquid from each well. They found that microbes were still living in the microbe-injected wells. Living Bacillus turned up in none of the other wells. Oil flow also appeared to increase slightly in the microbe-treated well, but, because of pump problems, the researchers had trouble collecting enough data to be sure. In future studies, the researchers plan to measure oil production over a longer period of time in wells treated with microbes. After that, they'll try the technique in larger wells.—E. Sohn

Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™