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A system for incubations at high gas partial pressure

  • High-pressure is a key feature of deep subsurface environments. High partial pressure of dissolved gasses plays an important role in microbial metabolism, because thermodynamic feasibility of many reactions depends on the concentration of reactants. For gases, this is controlled by their partial pressure, which can exceed 1 MPa at in situ conditions. Therefore, high hydrostatic pressure alone is not sufficient to recreate true deep subsurface in situ conditions, but the partial pressure of dissolved gasses has to be controlled as well. We developed an incubation system that allows for incubations at hydrostatic pressure up to 60 MPa, temperatures up to 120 degrees C, and at high gas partial pressure. The composition and partial pressure of gasses can be manipulated during the experiment. To keep costs low, the system is mainly made from off-the-shelf components with only very few custommade parts. A flexible and inert PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) incubator sleeve, which is almost impermeable for gases, holds the sample and separatesHigh-pressure is a key feature of deep subsurface environments. High partial pressure of dissolved gasses plays an important role in microbial metabolism, because thermodynamic feasibility of many reactions depends on the concentration of reactants. For gases, this is controlled by their partial pressure, which can exceed 1 MPa at in situ conditions. Therefore, high hydrostatic pressure alone is not sufficient to recreate true deep subsurface in situ conditions, but the partial pressure of dissolved gasses has to be controlled as well. We developed an incubation system that allows for incubations at hydrostatic pressure up to 60 MPa, temperatures up to 120 degrees C, and at high gas partial pressure. The composition and partial pressure of gasses can be manipulated during the experiment. To keep costs low, the system is mainly made from off-the-shelf components with only very few custommade parts. A flexible and inert PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) incubator sleeve, which is almost impermeable for gases, holds the sample and separates it from the pressure fluid. The flexibility of the incubator sleeve allows for sub-sampling of the medium without loss of pressure. Experiments can be run in both static and flow-through mode. The incubation system described here is usable for versatile purposes, not only the incubation of microorganisms and determination of growth rates, but also for chemical degradation or extraction experiments under high gas saturation, e.g., fluid-gas-rock-interactions in relation to carbon dioxide sequestration. As an application of the system we extracted organic compounds from sub-bituminous coal using H2O as well as a H2O-CO2 mixture at elevated temperature (90 degrees C) and pressure (5 MPa). Subsamples were taken at different time points during the incubation and analyzed by ion chromatography. Furthermore we demonstrated the applicability of the system for studies of microbial activity, using samples from the Isis mud volcano. We could detect an increase in sulfate reduction rate upon the addition of methane to the sample.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Patrick Sauer, Clemens GlombitzaORCiDGND, Jens KallmeyerORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2012.00025
ISSN:1664-302X (print)
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in microbiology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:carbon dioxide; gas partial pressure; high-pressure incubation system; low molecular weight organic acids; sub-sampling
Volume:3
Pagenumber:9
Funder:Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the "Forschungsverbund Geoenergien" (GeoEn, research network geoenergy)
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access