Photograph on top show the iron bacteria, Gallionella sp. Photo below shows the sulfate degrading bacteria, Desulfovibrio sp.
Technological advances often times are not at the same pace with the response necessary to negate environmental issues that result from catastrophic failure or unforeseen damage. The case in point is the recent BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Technology enabled drilling at depths of over a mile below sea level. But an explosion on the rig created the biggest oil spill in US history because the safety mechanisms and the oil spill response technology were inadequate in preventing or mitigating the damage. For this reason Poseidon has embarked on an ambitious program, called Nereus Project, to develop technologies that help ameliorate environmental problems associated with man’s rapid technological advances.
The Nereus Projects:
Oil spill cleanup technology. Poseidon’s R&D team has developed a sorbent technology that absorbs the oil and disperses them on the surface of the ocean where warmer temperatures and microbial activity will degrade the oil at a faster pace. This technology, referred to as the Nereid Series, utilizes proprietary composition of naturally available, nontoxic ingredients. The Nereid technology is flexible enough that by simply varying its composition creates different treatment systems for spilled oil on seawater, freshwater or on land.
• Nereid 820 allows the oil to be dispersed on the surface and entraps the oil allowing it to be easily recovered by skimming the surface. To read more, please click here.
• Nereid 640 disperses the oil through the water column
• Nereid 510 disperses half of the oil on the water column and other half to sink to the bottom
• Nereid 100 sinks all of the oil to the bottom of the sea
Non-leaching biocidal technology for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a process wherein fluid containing sand is pushed at high pressure through a well bore deep into the shale formation to create man-made fractures. The hydraulic fracturing process is followed by injection of proppants, typically ceramic beads that are lodged inside the shale deposits to keep the fracture open. The fractured shale allows free flow of natural gas and oil into the pipeline that brings them to the surface for collection. Over a million wells have been drilled in the US through hydraulic fracturing.
Anaerobic iron and sulfate degrading bacteria rapidly proliferate in the fracturing fluids, causing corrosion of the pipes and clogging of the proppants. Inevitably biocides had to be included in the fracturing fluid to inhibit bacterial growth. However, in recent years, there has been a tremendous public concern about the environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracturing and, in particular, the possible contamination of the aquifer and nearby streams by biocides and other chemicals present in the fracturing fluid. This triggered the current search for more environmentally benign options to keep such anaerobic organisms from proliferating. Considering the economic and strategic value of extracting US oil-gas reserves, an alternative technology needs to be developed as soon as possible to solve this environmental concern.
Poseidon Sciences and Selenium, Ltd are collaborating on the development of the SeGuard™ technology based on the antimicrobial effect of selenium. In this process selenium is covalently bound to a coated surface that releases reactive species, such as hydrogen peroxide, that kills bacteria on contact. Because selenium is covalently bound, the chemical does not leach out of the surface, thereby providing an environmentally safe, reliable biocidal effect.
Read more here.
In Greek Mythology, Nereus was the son of the Titans—Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). Always known as the “Old Man of the Sea” for his truthfulness and virtue, Nereus fathered the Nereids or sea nymphs, known for their friendly help to mariners in stormy seas. Hence, the name Nereus Project was chosen for this R&D program.