Main content area

A novel surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection for natural gas exploration using methane-oxidizing bacteria

Liang, Weiwei, Chen, Qiao, Peng, Fang, Shen, Aiguo, Hu, Jiming
Talanta 2018 v.184 pp. 156-161
Gram-negative bacteria, Raman spectroscopy, carbon, databases, energy, fluorescence, indicator species, methane, methanotrophs, nanosilver, natural gas, oils, principal component analysis, soil
Methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB), a unique group of Gram-negative bacteria utilizing methane as a sole source of carbon and energy, have been proved to be a biological indicator for gas prospecting. Field and cultivation-free detection of MOB is important but still challenging in current microbial prospecting of oil and gas (MPOG) system. Herein, SERS was used for the first time to our knowledge to investigate two species of methanotrophs and four closely relevant bacteria that universally coexisted in the upper soil of natural gas. A special but very simple approach was utilized to make silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) sufficiently contact with every single bacterial cell, and highly strong and distinct Raman signals free from any native fluorescence have been obtained, and successfully utilized for distinguishing MOB from other species. A more convincing multi-Raman criterion based on single Raman bands, and further the entire Raman spectrum in combination with statistical analysis (e.g., principal component analysis (PCA)), which were found capable of classifying MOB related bacterial cells in soil with an accuracy of 100%. This study therefore demonstrated sensitive and rapid SERS measurement technique accompanied by complete Raman database of various gas reservoirs related bacteria could aid field exploration of natural gas reservoir.