Potential of wheat bran to promote indigenous microbial enhanced oil recovery

  • Yali Zhan
  • Qinghong Wang
  • Chunmao Chen
  • Jung Bong Kim
  • Hongdan Zhang
  • Brandon A. Yoza
  • Qing X. LiEmail author
Environmental Microbiology - Original Paper


Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is an emerging oil extraction technology that utilizes microorganisms to facilitate recovery of crude oil in depleted petroleum reservoirs. In the present study, effects of wheat bran utilization were investigated on stimulation of indigenous MEOR. Biostimulation conditions were optimized with the response surface methodology. The co-application of wheat bran with KNO3 and NH4H2PO4 significantly promoted indigenous MEOR (IMEOR) and exhibited sequential aerobic (O-), facultative (An-) and anaerobic (A0-) metabolic stages. The surface tension of fermented broth decreased by approximately 35%, and the crude oil was highly emulsified. Microbial community structure varied largely among and in different IMEOR metabolic stages. Pseudomonas sp., Citrobacter sp., and uncultured Burkholderia sp. dominated the O-, An- and early A0-stages. Bacillus sp., Achromobacter sp., Rhizobiales sp., Alcaligenes sp. and Clostridium sp. dominated the later A0-stage. This study illustrated occurrences of microbial community succession driven by wheat bran stimulation and its industrial potential.


Wheat bran Biostimulation Response surface methodology Indigenous microbial enhanced oil recovery 



This study was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21306229), the Korean RDA (No. PJ011884) and the Science Foundation of China University of Petroleum, Beijing (2462014YJRC001).

Supplementary material

10295_2017_1909_MOESM1_ESM.docx (162 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 161 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil ProcessingChina University of PetroleumBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biosciences and BioengineeringUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Department of Agro-Food ResourcesNational Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development AdministrationJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Hawaii Natural Energy InstituteUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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