Environmental Microbial Culture Bank



InnoTech Alberta has a substantial collection of over 200 anaerobic mixed enrichment cultures capable of metabolizing a range of hydrocarbons, crude oil and coal. The cultures are mainly methanogenic, though there are some cultures under nitrate- and sulfate-reducing conditions.

These cultures represent a valuable resource for several industrial and research applications including:

  • Biodensification of mature fine tailings.
  • Bioremediation of hydrocarbon spills.
  • Souring control.
  • Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR).
  • Alternative processing of oil sands ores (e.g. altering surface wettability to improve bitumen recovery).
  • Production of methane or other value-added products (e.g. alcohols, solvents, organic acids) from different hydrocarbons.
  • Source of pure isolates to gain physiological and biochemical insights into microbial metabolic pathways.
  • Sources of genes and enzymes for biotechnology processes.

The enrichment cultures are capable of growing on the following substrates:

  • Naphtha (Mixture of low molecular weight, low
    boiling point hydrocarbons).
  • BTEX (Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o-,m-,
    p-xylene).
  • C6-C10 alkanes.
  • C14, C16, C18 alkanes.
  • Isoparaffin.
  • Coal (different ranks).
  • Heavy oil.

All enrichment cultures have substantial data such as growth curves and metabolites production and some have DNA sequence data associated with them. Details on the cultures’ original environments are also available.

Please contact us for more information on purchasing these cultures for research purposes or accessing our culturing expertise to assist with your technology or process. We also welcome opportunities to conduct collaborative research that investigates and exploits these cultures for biotechnological processes.