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Bioremediation by Oil Eating Bacteria


Oil spills cause devastation to the environment killing sea life, birds, and coastal plants. Spraying areas of contamination with oil-eating microbes accelerates the degradation of the oil. This process is known as bioremediation. In this open-ended experiment, students will grow a mixture of oil-eating bacteria and observe their effectiveness at degrading a variety of oils.

Group Size:

For 10 lab groups

Time Required:

After establishment of cultures, lab requires 50 minutes

Kit Includes:

Instructions, oil-eating microbes (powder), growth media, petri plates, 1N HCl, 1M NaOH, tetrazolium indicator powder, pH paper, and pipets.

You Need:

Shaking platform or stir plate (with stir bar), glassware, various cooking oils such as vegetable, canola, or olive, balance, distilled water, pipet pumps, and spectrophotometer (optional).