Identification of different types of fuel is a necessary step in the process of preventing the adulteration of petroleum products. It can also be qualified as a green tech because high-quality fuel produces much less pollution than low-quality knockoffs.
Nowadays mostly imported chemical markers are used for this purpose. Russian technologies in this area are virtually nonexistent, there is only one marker based on the intracellular pigment of Serratia marcescens. It was a creation of KFU’s researchers as well. But the work doesn’t stop there.
Postgraduate researcher Ilya Vassilyev explains, “We managed to prove that the pigments of Agreia actinobacteria can also be used as biomarkers. During our experiments we have found the necessary concentration of the substance that will reveal the marker’s presence, we have also determined the spectral characteristics of the petrol marked by the pigments that allow us to assess the quality of oil products”.
Agreia genus was discovered only recently. It currently includes two species: A. bicolorata and A. pratensis. Both were separated from plant material.
Natural markers have some advantages over synthetic ones. First, they are not as easily counterfeited. Second, they are safely biodegradable.
The researchers performed the screening of Agreia strains to select the prospective biomarkers and worked out the protocol of using microbial pigments for fuel marking and identification.
Such companies as TAIF and Addax Petroleum have already shown interest in using the new technology.