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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014

News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Bacteria help solve problem by cleaning gas byproduct

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

By Elwin Green
Bacteria that have been a persistent problem for hospitals may turn out to be the solution to a persistent problem for the natural gas industry.

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form on exposed surfaces. In addition to forming in nature, they commonly form on the surfaces of catheter lines and surgical implants, such as pacemakers, making them a leading cause of hospital infections.

Now they could be used to cleanse water used in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

Biofilms have long been a subject of research at Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, the research component of Allegheny General Hospital.

"Our interest up until now has been in human disease," said Chris Post, president of Allegheny-Singer.

Then came the "aha moment."

"I was reading and thinking about the Marcellus Shale," he said, "and realized that biofilms could be very helpful."

 

To read more, visit the Post-Gazette website.

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