I often hear people I work with in the gas patch complain of urinary tract infections and, I confess, I wondered what a UTI could possibly have to do with natural gas production and development.
Well, well, well… Meet Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Application to Biotechnology
P. aeruginosa, as well as many other Pseudomonas, can degrade aromatic hydrocarbons such as methylbenzenes, which are the by-products of petroleum industries and are commonly used as solvents for enamels and paints as well as in the production of drugs and chemicals. Methylbenzenes are considered as environmental contaminants that are present in the atmosphere, underground and soils, and in surface water (25). P. aeruginosa can break down toluene, the simplest form of methylbenzene. P. aeruginosa degrades toluene through the oxidation of the methyl group to aldehyde, alcohol, and an acid, which is then converted to catechol. Hence, P. aeruginosa can be used in pollution control (26).
When you live in the gas patch, there is an abundance of aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene and methylbenzene so it makes perfect sense that where aromatic hydrocarbons are in abundance, P. aeruginosa will be prolific. Areas where they landfarm would be especially prolific with this pathogen.
We’re Gasholes from America’s Natural Gas Alliance ANGA, and here’s what we did for you today…