Bacteria "extract" iron and oil

These bacteria "extract" iron and oil! They were discovered in 1947, but chemists did not even suspect that all their representatives put together produce sulfuric acid much more than the entire world chemical industry. Small competitors of chemists were called thiobacillus ferrooxidans. All because these bacteria belong to the group associated with sulfur and at the same time are also ferro-bacteria.

These bacteria extract iron and oil!

No less interesting is the physiology of the life of bacteria thiobacillus ferrooxidans. It turns out that to "build" their own organism, bacteria receive energy from chemical reactions that go in the environment. But they receive it for nothing: instead of the bacterium, sometimes, tens and hundreds of times, accelerate the course of these reactions.

For example, half of the deposits of iron in the earth's crust consist of ferrous compounds. Ferrous iron dissolves much better in water than oxide. Passing through the deposits of iron, the water carries with it the soluble compounds that have dissolved in it, which then flow into a quiet marshy creek - a kind of nursery of iron bacteria. Here, bacteria cause the ferrous iron to take an additional portion of oxygen and turn into ferric oxide. This iron immediately precipitates. So ore is born.

Similar processes are, apparently, at the bottom of the oceans. Here, bacteria show a special propensity to accumulate elements such as iron and manganese, cobalt and magnesium in the form of small metal lumps - nodules.

And what if, in real time, create a kind of microbiological plant with quadrillion working bacteria? For example, in many deposits copper is contained in the form of compounds with sulfur. Oxidizing sulfur, thiobacillus ferrooxidans will transfer copper from insoluble compounds to soluble, carrying out approximately the same chemical reactions as in a swampy creek. In the same way, it is possible to enrich molybdenum, iron-chromium and iron-titanium concentrates, only in this case the bacteria dissolve and carry away iron, freeing more valuable metals from it.

It turns out that bacteria are able to decompose oil in natural conditions in thousands of meters under the earth. A person needs special settings and a temperature of 400-5000 C for this. Gasoline, however, does not work, but bacteria can, by decomposing oil, "gasify" it, make it easier and less viscous, make it easier to climb up to the surface of the earth. All this follows from observations of the activity of bacteria under natural conditions and from laboratory experiments. For example, we noticed that the decomposition of oil by bacteria is held back, due to the shortage of some bacteria products in this oil. They were replaced by food industry waste. To do this, a molasses solution with a culture of destructive bacteria was pumped into the well for a kilometer depth. Having multiplied, the bacteria caused the decomposition of oil, the gas in the well became larger, and its composition changed, the pressure in the reservoir increased and more oil began to come to the surface!