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Oil Reservoir & Environmental Technologies

Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery

Ongoing research at the INL supports development, engineering, and application of biologically enhanced oil recovery (EOR) systems and advanced EOR processes with less environmental impact. We are continuing to investigate the production and application of surfactants produced from agricultural waste products and to investigate microbial polymers for production and application. Using biosurfactants produced from agricultural residuals will (a) result in economic advantage, (b) convert an agricultural waste to a value-added product for application in the oil industry, and (c) reduce the use of chemical surfactants. The microbial polymer task is part of the collaborative research program for microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) and biotechnology for oil field operations (91-ST-9) with Phillips Petroleum Company.

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