Idaho National Laboratory Biological Systems

Environmental Microbiology

Idaho National Laboratory scientists study environmental microbial ecology and develop applications to remediate metals and organic contamination in subsurface and surface environments, and contaminated vapors and off-gasses through biofiltration.  In-situ bioremediation research includes biostimulation, bioaugmentation, and natural attenuation.  Specific contaminants that have been focused on include hexavalent chromium, uranium, strontium-90, hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, terpenes, explosives, and NOx and SOx compounds. In addition, Idaho National Laboratory researchers have designed and tested novel tools to better understand microbial response and impact in situ.

Fact Sheets

Bioremediation of Explosives (1024kb pdf)

Microbially-Facilitated Remediation of Metals and Radionuclides (2545kb pdf)


In Situ Biotechnology

Idaho National Laboratory researchers use engineered microbial processes for enhanced energy and resource recovery.  Important research areas are the cost-effective liberation of valuable metals from ores using acidophilic microbes, enhanced oil recovery, and the production of methane by archaea.  Additionally, understanding microbial systems and their impacts in these environments, and being able to predictably control them, may result in the ability to reduce undesirable effects such as acid mine drainage, oil field leaking, and release of excess carbon into the atmosphere.

Fact Sheets

Biomining (1227kb pdf)

Microbiology of Methane Hydrates (1055kb pdf)

Page Contact Information:

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office