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Environmental Microbiology Laboratory

Research activities in the Environmental Microbiology Laboratory are divided between supporting research projects at the EERC and conducting specific environmental microbiology projects. Primary areas of research include biodegradation of pollutants and xenobiotics, microbial ecology of the subsurface, and microbial biotechnology. Support projects include studies of nonaqueous enzymes, enzyme immobilization, and in situ bioremediation.

Research Experience

  • Monitoring biofouling in water-cooling and reuse systems
  • Evaluation of biocides for biofouling control
  • Use of wood root fungi for decolorization of wastewater
  • Growth and testing of Thiobacillus spp. for pyrite oxidation
  • Microbial desulfurization of organic compounds
  • Determination of the desulfurization pathways of organosulfur compounds
  • Parameters controlling amine biodegradation in soils
  • Assessment of bioremediation of gas condensates in soils and groundwater
  • Denitrification in subsurface agricultural soils
  • Role of autotrophic microbes in subsurface sulfur metabolism
  • Anaerobic dechlorination of chlorinated solvents
  • Humate enhancement for in situ bioremediation of nonaqueous-phase liquids
  • Fermentation of carbohydrates to lactic acid
  • Fermentation of waste starch materials to methane

General and Physiological Microbiology Equipment

  • Sterilizer
  • Water baths
  • Shakers
  • Incubators
  • Ovens
  • pH meters
  • Conductivity meter
  • Centrifuges
  • Balances
  • Phase-contrast microscope
  • Stereoscope
  • Class II laminar-flow hood
  • Low-temperature incubators
  • Anaerobic glove box
  • Gas chromatograph with a flame ionization detector
  • UV-Vis spectrophotometer
  • Ultrasonicator
  • Apparatus for macro- and microoxygen uptake assays
  • Ultracold freezer
  • Apparatus for enumerating airborne microbes

Respirometry Equipment

  • Electrolytic respirometer
  • 24-place respirometer capable of measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide