Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico

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Roldan-Carrillo T.,IMP. Eje Central 152 | Castorena-Cortes G.,IMP. Eje Central 152 | Reyes-Avila J.,IMP. Eje Central 152 | Zapata-Penasco I.,IMP. Eje Central 152 | Olguin-Lora P.,IMP. Eje Central 152
Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Background: Several studies on oil recovery using a packed system have been reported; however, the majority use Berea (quartz). In Mexico, more than 37% of the proven reserves are found in reservoirs formed of carbonate and quartz rocks. In this study, the effects on microbial oil recovery of three types of porous media were evaluated: carbonate (Lm), quartz (Ot), and rock from a Mexican oil reservoir (Ch), formed of carbonate (45%) and quartz (38%). Results: Oil recovery experiments using granulated porous media saturated with oil and two mixed cultures (AF1 and AF2) from a Mexican oil field, were assessed at 70°C under anaerobic conditions. Microbial cultures were composed of thermophilic, fermentative microorganisms, including Thermoanaerobacter, Natronovirga and Geothermobacterium, among others. Biomass production (150-240 mg L-1), substrate consumption (0.1 mg L-1 h-1) and CO2 production (0.10-0.28 mmol L-1) were measured. The systems presented significant differences in recovery (P= 0.000006), and carbonated systems presented the highest oil recovery; the best system combining the AF2 culture with porous medium from a Mexican reservoir (Ch) composed mainly of carbonate, achieving an oil recovery of 23.8%. Conclusion: The efficiency of microbial enhanced oil recovery is dependent on the inoculum and the type of porous medium. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

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