Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Amphibians
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Saving Africa's Wild Dogs
Roach Love Songs
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
Behavior
Primate Memory Showdown
Double take
Listen and Learn
Birds
Emus
A Meal Plan for Birds
Macaws
Chemistry and Materials
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Batteries built by Viruses
The hottest soup in New York
Computers
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
The science of disappearing
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Big, Weird Dino
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
Tiny Pterodactyl
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Greener Diet
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Environment
Flu river
Plant Gas
Spotty Survival
Finding the Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Ancient Cave Behavior
Fish
Angler Fish
Sting Ray
Electric Eel
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
Sponges' secret weapon
Symbols from the Stone Age
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Detecting True Art
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Spit Power
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Invertebrates
Shrimps
Moths
Termites
Mammals
German Shepherds
Rhinoceros
African Elephants
Parents
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
IceCube Science
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Road Bumps
Plants
When Fungi and Algae Marry
A Giant Flower's New Family
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Copperhead Snakes
Iguanas
Space and Astronomy
Unveiling Titan
Saturn's New Moons
A Moon's Icy Spray
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Ready, unplug, drive
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Recipe for a Hurricane
Earth's Poles in Peril
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™