MiProTherm – Enhancing process understanding of microbial induced corrosion and scaling in geothermal plants by analysis of microbial activity
With the use of geothermal energy, well-known disturbances such as corrosion and scaling often occur within the geothermal systems, leading to a reduced utilizability of the geothermal used aquifer. The multidisciplinary research project MiProTherm investigates metabolic processes of microorganisms in geothermal plants leading to possible disturbance of the natural conditions of the aquifer. The whole project integrates geochemical, microbiological, mineralogical and petrologic investigations. The aim is to qualify and quantify metabolic products of subsurface microbial communities in the fluid and solid phase of geothermal systems to assess the impact of microbial populations and their by-products on such systems. Our biogeochemical work is focussing on the characterisation of composition, quantity and isotopic composition of dissolved organic compounds (DOC) being a potential feedstock for microbial life. Furthermore, the origin and fate of these organic substances in geothermal systems will be evaluated. Intact phospholipids indicating viable microorganisms are subject of our analysis of groundwater as well as filter material from the technical geothermal plants. These compounds will help to document the microbial variability related to environmental changes in the geothermal systems due to extraction and reinjection of volumes of groundwater over time.
Anke Sachse (parental leave)
GFZ-ICG – Hilke Würdemann
GTN – Markus Wolfgramm
BWG – Andrea Seibt
Universität Duisburg-Essen, Biofilm Centre – Wolfgang Sand
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety