What Happened to "Oil-Eating" Bacteria?

Regarding the oil spill. Years ago, I read that GE had developed a type of bacteria that would metabolize crude oil, rendering it into harmless by products. What happened to this?
Are there natural microorganisms that can eat crude oil?

They’re still around. I just read a story yesterday about the plan to deploy them in the Louisiana marshes after the oil leak is stopped. It said that some naturally occuring microbes would be used.

Looking for the article now.

Here’s one:


Loads of bacteria can eat oil, some better than others. Trick is getting the other things the bacteria need all together in one place. Some kinds need a substrate to sit on, so to speak, that is not oil. Most of the kinds that you want to eat the oil need oxygen, so they can only nibble away at the edges unless the oil gets busted up and/or emulsified. Temperature is a big deal with the speed of microbial decomposition, so it was not used in Alaska much. In then end, that is where most of the oil will go in this spill - naturally decomposed by bacteria, whether we add the bacteria or not. In the Gulf, I expect that will take about a year or so, based on past oil spills.

They got full :slight_smile:

Why am I now envisioning lots of little bass boats putting through the slick stirring it up like a whole mess of the worlds largest immersion blenders?

I should not have read this after making up a batch of vinaigrette dressing:smack: