grant_EPL0019421

Five Reasons Sulfate Reduction Activity Tests Are Important

April 22, 2016 Francine Jones 0 Comments

Testing for sulfate-reducing bacteria is essential in many areas of science because this bacteria can mean the difference between a clean and safe ecosystem or a toxic and dangerous one. These tests are often fairly simple when compared to other tests, but their importance should not be overlooked. In their natural habitat, one can usually smell the bacteria as they work. These tests show exactly how much bacteria is in the water or soil and how best to deal with them.

Dirty Water
Perhaps the most important reason for sulfate-reducing bacteria activity tests is to see if the water is clean. If the bacteria are overgrown, then you will smell sulfur because the element is being broken down and released into the air. A moderate amount of this bacteria can make the water quite dirty, but it won’t be enough to actively smell. These tests will show how much activity is in the water and whether or not it’s safe.

Clean Soil
In some instances, this bacteria can actually be used to clean the environment. It’s known for eating through hydrocarbons, which are easily absorbed by soil. If there’s been a chemical spill in the area, then this bacteria is often released to help clean it up. Testing for activity ensures that the bacteria is alive and doing it’s job.

Engineering
This bacteria can contribute to corrosion in metal if engineers aren’t careful. If a given area of metal is exposed to sulfate-containing water, then the bacteria will soon form and start consuming the sulfates. Since the bacteria also breaks down carbon and causes a hydrogen reaction while it works, this creates corrosion that can quickly weaken the metal. These tests are essential for ensuring that the metal will remain strong and durable.

Acidic Water
Much like with the cleaning toxic soil, sulfate-reducing bacteria are being considered to clean acidic mine water. This water is rich in strong acids that are nearly impossible to reduce by other means and would quickly kill anyone who goes inside. While there are many strong strains of bacteria in this water, it is thought that the unique reaction of sulfate-reducing bacteria would be enough to nullify the acid to more tolerable levels.

Certain Reactions
If biochemists are trying to get certain reactions, usually dealing with sulfur and sulfate, then this bacteria is typically used. It helps activate the sulfate and gives it some unique elements that are incredibly difficult to replicate without the bacteria.

Testing for sulfate-reducing bacteria is incredibly important because it helps ensure clean water and soil, prevents corrosion and leads to unique reactions for biochemists. Scientists are constantly working on ways to use this bacteria in more areas because of its potential for good.

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