Impact of nitrate on the structure and function of bacterial biofilm communities in pipelines used for injection of seawater into oil fields

  • Schwermer C
  • Lavik G
  • Abed R
 et al. 
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Abstract

We studied the impact of NO(3)(-) on the bacterial community composition, diversity, and function in in situ industrial, anaerobic biofilms by combining microsensor profiling, (15)N and (35)S labeling, and 16S rRNA gene-based fingerprinting. Biofilms were grown on carbon steel coupons within a system designed to treat seawater for injection into an oil field for pressurized oil recovery. NO(3)(-) was added to the seawater in an attempt to prevent bacterial H(2)S generation and microbially influenced corrosion in the field. Microprofiling of nitrogen compounds and redox potential inside the biofilms showed that the zone of highest metabolic activity was located close to the metal surface, correlating with a high bacterial abundance in this zone. Upon addition, NO(3)(-) was mainly reduced to NO(2)(-). In biofilms grown in the absence of NO(3)(-), redox potentials of

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