Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
John F. Stolz
Bacteria, Enrichment, Hydraulic fracturing, Marcellus, Produced water, Shale gas
Unconventional natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale requires millions of gallons of water to fracture shale and release natural gas from the formation. This process produces water with high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS); and, efforts to recycle these fluids has stimulated microbial growth in produced water. The objective of this study was to analyze the ionic composition of and characterize microorganisms from Marcellus produced water samples. A semi-synthetic culture medium was designed with high TDS to enrich for halophilic microbes, which yielded robust cultures that were able to grow over a wide range of salinities. DNA extracted from aerobic cultures was used for 16s rDNA clone libraries and Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA). ARISA and 16S gene sequencing revealed differences in bacterial composition between Marcellus and freshwater samples. Sequencing of 16S gene indicated the presence of Halomonas, Thalassospira and other genera related to halophilic and petroleum degrading species.
Eastham, J. (2012). Enrichment, Characterization and Identification of Microbial Communities Associated with Unconventional Shale Gas Production Water (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/510