Prospecting For Extremophilic Microbes At Geothermal Power Plants

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Conference Paper: Prospecting For Extremophilic Microbes At Geothermal Power Plants

Microbial investigations at geothermal facilities are usually aimed at mitigating the negative impacts, such as biofouling and corrosion, of these organisms on plant operations. However, not all of the microorganisms found at geothermal facilities are detrimental, in fact some may actually possess characteristics of economic importance. Extremophilic microbes, or extremophiles, are organisms that live in hostile environments, such as those created by high temperature, high salinity, or low pH conditions. In order to survive in these environments, these organisms develop enzymes with unique biochemical characteristics, which may be of con-siderable value in biomedical and other industrial applications. Geothermal production wells and power plants may represent untapped resources for extremophiles; and consequently, could serve as factories for the production of microorganisms with unique metabolic characteristics, resulting in a novel direct use for the industry. The results of a limited sampling study to detect micro-organisms in high temperature geothermal resources is described and recommendations for future activities in this field of inquiry are presented.

P.A. Pryfogle, D.P. Moser and K.K. Bloomfield

GRC, 2005

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P.A. Pryfogle,D.P. Moser,K.K. Bloomfield. 2005. Prospecting For Extremophilic Microbes At Geothermal Power Plants. In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)