A student in Canada attending Marianopolis College found a strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria that can digest-oil. This strain is currently believed to be a brand new strain of bacteria. Nivatha Balendra, found this bacteria while working on a science project, she is currently a finalist in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She wanted to focus on environmentally-friendly solutions to clean up oil spills.
Bacteria is one natural way to clean up oil spills. Norwegian scientists conducted a multitude of tests to see how well bacteria works to clean up oil spills. They found that in their natural state after a month the bacteria did very little to clean up the oil. They concluded that the problem was that the bacteria was not in the concentrations necessary to clean up these oil spills. They increased the bacteria population by adding nutrients and adjusting different variables.
To make this bacteria work outside of a laboratory they have planned capsules that they can attach to rocks that would provide the bacteria with the necessary growing conditions.
The bacteria Nivatha Balendra might be a really good step towards cleaning up oil spills but the study done in Norway shows that it takes a little more than just letting the bacteria clean up after us we still need to help the bacteria out a bit.