Microbial Deterioration of Hydrocarbon Fuels from Oil Shale, Coal, and Petroleum. I. Exploratory Experiments.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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As part of the Navys program on alternative sources of hydrocarbon fuel, the susceptibility to microbial deterioration of JP-5 derived from oil shale and coal referred to as synthetic fuels was investigated and compared with that of petroleum JP-5. Six fungi, including three strains of Cladosporium resinae, a yeast Candida and a bacterium Pseudomonas which normally grow well in association with petroleum JP-5 were used as test organisms in two-phase systems containing fuelaqueous media. Most of the test organisms were inhibited to various extents in the presence of the synthetic fuels. An exception was a Fusarium species fungus which grew equally well under all three fuels. In mixtures of 75 petroleum and 25 synthetic fuels, microbial growth was generally equivalent to that in 100 petroleum JP-5. A search was made among samples of soil, creosoted wood and tree resins for microorganisms that could thrive in the presence of synthetic fuels. This endeavor produced a strain of C. resinae that grew as well with oil shale JP-5 as with petroleum JP-5. These exploratory experiments indicate that microorganisms adapted to growth with conventional petroleum fuel tend to be inhibited by synthetic fuels, but that organisms probably exist in nature which can readily adapt to and grow in the presence of synthetic fuels.