Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 263–270 | Cite as

Bioemulsifier production by a halothermophilic Bacillus strain with potential applications in microbially enhanced oil recovery

  • S. M. M. Dastgheib
  • M. A. AmoozegarEmail author
  • E. Elahi
  • S. Asad
  • I. M. Banat
Original Research Paper


A halothermotolerant Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium was isolated from petroleum reservoirs in Iran and identified as Bacillus licheniformis sp. strain ACO1 by phenotypic characterization and 16S rRNA analysis. It showed a high capacity for bioemulsifier production and grew up to 60°C with NaCl at 180 g l−1. The optimum NaCl concentration, pH and temperature for bioemulsifier production were 4% (w/v), 8.0, and 45°C, respectively. Although ACO1 did not utilize hydrocarbons, it had a high emulsifying activity (E 24 = 65 ± 5%) on different hydrophobic substrates. Emulsification was optimal while growing on yeast extract as the sole carbon source and NaNO3 as the nitrogen source. The efficiency of the residual oil recovery increased by 22% after in situ growth of B. licheniformis ACO1 in a sand-pack model saturated with liquid paraffin.


Biosurfactant Emulsifier Enhanced oil recovery Sand-pack model Thermophile 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. M. Dastgheib
    • 1
  • M. A. Amoozegar
    • 2
    Email author
  • E. Elahi
    • 3
  • S. Asad
    • 1
  • I. M. Banat
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Extremophiles Lab, Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Cellular Biology, School of Biology, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  4. 4.School of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of UlsterColeraineNorthern Ireland, UK

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