Laboratory Evidence of Microbial-Sediment-Gas Hydrate Synergistic Interactions in Ocean Sediments

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference


Both biogenic and thermogenic gases form seafloor gas hydrates. Prolific microbial activity and bacterial mats near gas hydrate mounds show at least an incidental association of the gas hydrates and microbes. Laboratory data indicates more than an incidental association: a synergistic relationship exists between microbes, sediments, and gas hydrates. Commercially available biosurfactants showed significant catalytic effects on hydrate induction times and formation rates. Since gas hydrate formation is an interfacial phenomenon, interactions of anionic biosurfactants and specific porous media surfaces influence hydrate location and form. Bacillus subtilis microbe identified around Gulf of Mexico hydrates was cultured, surfactant extracted, and effects on laboratory gas hydrates demonstrated interactions. Copyright © 2004 by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers.

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