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Funding for two new ’underground’ programmes at Bioscience

Geomicrobiologists from Department of Bioscience have received funding for two new research programmes from Danish Hydrocarbon Research Centre. Read more about the projects here.

2018.03.07 | Lea Laursen Pasgaard

Post.doc. Alberto Scoma

PhD student Søren Dollerup Nielsen

It is the sixth time the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) funds selected research projects, which can potentially contribute with new knowledge and results towards the goal of increasing the recovery of oil and gas from the Danish part of the North Sea.

Two of the recipients are post.doc. Alberto Scoma and PhD student Søren Dollerup Nielsen who work at the section of Microbiology and Center for Geomicrobiology at the Department of Bioscience.

The titles of Alberto Scoma and Søren Dollerup Nielsens research projects are ”Souring mitigation by a lowcost bioelectrochemical device” and ”Non-invasive measurement of microbial activity in cement by microcalorimetry”.

At DHRTC’s website, Alberto Scoma and Søren Dollerup Nielsen both present their projects.

“At the Dept. of Bioscience at Aarhus University, I am presently working on the Self-Healing Cement project. The project aims at developing bio-based solutions to improve cement life. Under certain conditions, microorganisms induce the precipitation of crystals which can seal cracks in cement structures. The project targets cement cast in deep, subseafloor environments, which are characterized by high hydrostatic pressures, high temperatures, lack of oxygen and, when including cement, high pH. Microbes able to survive the concomitant application of multiple stressors are called ‘polyextremophiles’. Understanding how polyextremophiles survive such conditions would help providing the proper environment for their activity (in this case, precipitating more crystals and fix cement),” Alberto Scoma says.

Søren Dollerup Nielsens presents his research the following way:

“In august 2016 I started my Ph.D-project “Microbial induced healing of cement”. It is well established that bacteria embedded in a cement matrix can repair cracks in above ground structures by inducing the precipitation of calcium carbonate. The aim of my project is to modify the technique already in use in surface environments to develop cements that are able to “self-heal” under subsurface conditions. We will embed the endospores of bacteria in tiny capsules together with the necessary nutrients and incorporate them into the cement. The endospores will germinate, metabolize and precipitate calcium carbonate when cracks occur, effectively healing them. The goal is to prolong the life time of cements in deep offshore production facilities.”

Read more about the projects and Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre here



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