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Oil Spill Clean-up by Fungi

Research Units

Marine Research Institute

Socio-economic partners


Sector Biotechnologies, Agri-food, Health

Oil Spill Clean-up by Fungi

Technology awarded a National patent in 2022

The "METHOD FOR PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON BIOREMEDIATION USING FUNGI" was awarded by The State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania and an EPO application has been submitted as well. This invention relates to petroleum hydrocarbon degradation in water by using fungi derived from the marine environment.

Even though we are moving toward a fossil-free economy, the world is still very dependent on oil, and there are numerous oil spills every year which have negative impact on local ecosystems, human health, and the economy.

To collect oil waste from the water surface, modern industry either uses sorbents, which have to be disposed of with the oil waste, or chemicals, to make the oil waste heavier and allow it to sink to the seabed. There it is out of sight, but it does not solve the problem. So, there is a need for sustainable innovative solutions which will help to minimize risks for the local ecosystem and negative impact on human well-being.

According to the method of using fungi derived from the coastal environment of the present invention, the decrease of the petroleum hydrocarbons in the water can be achieved. As an example, the present invention can be applied to the crude oil, alternative fuels and their blends clean-up.

The method comprises selection and cultivation of specific species of fungi, evaluation of the severity and chemical composition of the spillage and timely use of the composition in the affected area.