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Atomic Force Microscopy and Wettability Study of the Alteration of Mica and Sandstone by a Biosurfactant-Producing Bacterium Bacillus thermodenitrificans

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The effects of growth and metabolite production of a variant of Bacillus thermodenitrificans on the surface properties and wettability of mica and sandstone cores were investigated. Measured contact angles on mica plaques showed more oil wetness for three different types of treatment using the bacterium, a non-biosurfactant-producing mutant and the extracellular biosurfactant. AFM analyses of the mica surfaces revealed noticeable surface changes for all the treated samples compared with untreated mica; however, the nature and the extent of changes varied for the three methods of treatment. Wettability alteration toward less water-wet was also observed for sandstone core samples treated by the biosurfactant solution and by the non-biosurfactant-producing mutant. It is demonstrated that wettability alteration takes place both in the presence and in the absence of extracellular surface-active compounds and that both methods of treatment lead to less affinity for water. The non-biosurfactant-producing mutant yielded the greatest wettability changes in all tests.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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  • Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research (JAMR) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in high-resolution microscopy techniques to image, characterize and analyze man-made and natural samples; to study physicochemical phenomena such as abrasion, adhesion, corrosion and friction; to perform micro and nanofabrication, lithography, patterning, micro and nanomanipulation; theory and modeling, as well as their applications in all areas of science, engineering, and medicine.
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