The biosurfactant produced by Bacillus licheniformis R2 was characterized and studied for enhancing the heavy crude oil recovery at 80 °C in coreflood experiments. The strain was found to be nonpathogenic and produced biosurfactant, reducing the surface tension of medium from 70 to 28 mN/m with 1.1 g/l yield. The biosurfactant was quite stable during exposure to elevated temperatures (85 °C for 90 days), high salinity (10 % NaCl), and a wide range of pH (5–12) for 10 days. It was characterized as lipopeptide similar to lichenysin-A, with a critical micelle concentration of about 19.4 mg/l. The efficiency of crude biosurfactant for enhanced oil recovery by core flood studies revealed it to recovering additional 37.1 % oil from Berea sandstone cores at 80 °C. The results are indicative of the potential for the development of lipopeptide biosurfactant-based ex situ microbial enhanced heavy oil recovery from depleting oil fields with extreme temperatures.
- Bacillus licheniformis
- Microbial enhanced oil recovery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology