Ian M Head

Ian M Head
Newcastle University | NCL · School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

About

319
Publications
64,831
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19,522
Citations
Citations since 2017
59 Research Items
8064 Citations
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400

Publications

Publications (319)
Article
Full-text available
Unprecedented and dramatic transformations are occurring in the Arctic in response to climate change, but academic, public, and political discourse has disproportionately focussed on the most visible and direct aspects of change, including sea ice melt, permafrost thaw, the fate of charismatic megafauna, and the expansion of fisheries. Such narrati...
Article
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A previous cultivation-independent investigation of the microbial community structure of natural oil and asphalt seeps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) revealed the dominance of uncultured bacterial taxa belonging to the phyla Deferribacterota and Coprothermobacterota and the orders Thermodesulfobacteriales, Thermales, and Burkholderiales. Her...
Article
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Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) operated as biosensors could potentially enable truly low-cost, real-time monitoring of organic loading in wastewaters. The current generated by MFCs has been correlated with conventional measures of organic load such as Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), but much remains to be established in terms of the reliability and a...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrogen‐fixing bacteria (NFB) can reduce nitrogen at ambient pressure and temperature. In this study we treated effluent from a paper mill in sequencing batch reactors (SBR) and monitored the abundance and activity of NFB with a view to producing a sludge that could work as a biofertilizer. Four reactors were inoculated with activated sludge enric...
Article
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Over the last decade, metagenomic studies have revealed the impact of oil production on the microbial ecology of petroleum reservoirs. However, despite their fundamental roles in bioremediation of hydrocarbons, biocorrosion, biofouling and hydrogen sulfide production, oil field and oil production infrastructure microbiomes are poorly explored. Unde...
Article
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that simultaneously remove organic contaminants and recovering metals provide a potential route for industry to adopt clean technologies. In this work, two goals were set: to study the feasibility of zinc removal from industrial effluents using MFCs and to understand the removal process by using reaction rate models. The...
Article
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Technologies able to convert CO2 to various feedstocks for fuels and chemicals are emerging due to the urge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and de-fossilizing chemical production. Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) has been shown a promising technique to synthesize organic products particularly acetate using microorganisms and electrons. However...
Article
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Laminated microbial mats and microbialites have been documented from a variety of coastal marine environments. This study aims to provide the first detailed descriptions of intertidal pools, along with their hosted thrombolite and stromatolite structures, from Abu Dhabi, and to propose a model for their formation and evolution. It is proposed that...
Article
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Reduction of CO2 to acetate in microbial electrosynthesis has been widely studied. However, the selective and quantitative production of longer chain chemicals and biofuels is still a bottleneck. Lack of sufficient energy provided by only the cathode electrode in Bio-electrochemical systems during chain elongation is one of the key challenges. It i...
Article
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Crude oil-amended microcosms were prepared with inocula from eleven anoxic environments (4 river sediments, 3 lake sediments, and 4 sludges from wastewater treatment reactors) to determine their ability to produce methane from the biodegradation of crude oil. Over incubation periods of up to 1150 days, oil-stimulated methanogenesis and concomitant...
Article
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Moderately thermophilic (Tmax, ~55 °C) methanogens are identified after extended enrichments from temperate, tropical and low-temperature environments. However, thermophilic methanogens with higher growth temperatures (Topt ≥ 60 °C) are only reported from high-temperature environments. A microcosm-based approach was used to measure the rate of meth...
Article
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Direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) via electrically conductive minerals can play a role in the anaerobic oxidation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated sites and can be exploited for the development of new, more effective bioremediation approaches.
Article
To identify hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms contributing to the formation of heavy oil we investigated the microbial community composition in different types of crude oils from oil-production facilities and in crude oil and asphalt from different natural seeps from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Crude oils from five out of six production...
Article
Most of the oil in low temperature, non‐uplifted reservoirs is biodegraded due to millions of years of microbial activity, including via methanogenesis from crude oil. To evaluate stimulating additional methanogenesis in already heavily biodegraded oil reservoirs, oil sands samples were amended with nutrients and electron acceptors, but oil sands b...
Article
Microbial fuel cells can be used as sensors to measure organic load (measured as biochemical oxygen demand; BOD) in aqueous waste streams, but electrical current output can also be affected by the presence of toxic compounds. Just as BOD is a non-specific measure of organic loading the toxic response is not differentiated for specific toxicants and...
Article
Anthropogenic nitrogen fixation is essential to sustain a global population of 7.7 billion. However, there has been a long-standing desire to find cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives to the Haber Bosch process. In this study, we developed a new strategy of nitrogen fixation by enriching free-living N2 fixing bacteria (NFB) in rea...
Article
Full-text available
The upstream protection of the biomass present in biological treatment processes is a vital challenge as the consequences of failure could include exposure of water users to hazardous chemicals in addition to loss of treatment performance. Online detection of toxic compounds in wastewater could enable processes to be monitored in real-time and prom...
Article
Sulfur oxidizing Sulfurimonas spp. are widespread in sediments, hydrothermal vent fields, aquifers, and subsurface environments such as oil reservoirs where they play an important role in the sulfur cycle. We determined the genome sequence of the oil field isolate Sulfurimonas sp. strain CVO and compared its gene expression during nitrate‐dependent...
Article
Thermophilic endospores are widespread in cold marine sediments where the temperature is too low to support growth and activity of thermophiles in situ. These endospores are likely expelled from warm subsurface environments and subsequently dispersed by ocean currents. The endospore upper temperature limit for survival is 140°C, which can be tolera...
Chapter
The demand for mineral and energy resources is increasing. Resources are sourced from finite geological deposits. Therefore the development of more sustainable routes is paramount. Industrial, municipal and agricultural wastewaters are potential sources of metals and energy can be recovered from oxidising waste organic matter but conventional metho...
Article
Full-text available
The development of a sustainable catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is still a major bottleneck for the scale-up and commercialization of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). In this work, we have studied the utilization of iron-oxidizing bacteria (IOB) enriched from natural environment and Fe2+ in MFCs equipped with gas diffusion electrodes...
Article
Full-text available
N and P are the key limiting nutrients considered most important for the stimulation of crude oil degradation but other trace nutrients may also be important. Experimental soil microcosms were setup to investigate crude oil degradation in the context of Ni amendments. Amended Nickel as NiO, NiCl2, or, a porphyrin complex either inhibited, had no ef...
Article
Marine sediments represent an important sink of harmful petroleum hydrocarbons after an accidental oil spill. Electrobioremediation techniques, which combine electrokinetic transport and biodegradation processes, represent an emerging technological platform for a sustainable remediation of contaminated sediments. Here, we describe the results of a...
Article
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Cold seep sediments are complex and widespread marine ecosystems emitting large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other hydrocarbons. Within these sediments, microbial communities play crucial roles in production and degradation of hydrocarbons, modulating oil and gas emissions to seawater. Despite this ecological importance, our und...
Article
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Running from 2015 to 2019, the Resource Recovery from Waste (RRfW) programme is a £7m strategic investment by NERC, ESRC and Defra to deliver strategic science in support of a paradigm shift in the recovery of resources from waste, driven by benefits to the environment and human health, rather than economics alone. The end-of-programme brochure ou...
Article
Copper recovery from distillery effluent was studied in a scalable bioelectro-chemical system with approx. 6.8 L total volume. Two control strategies based on the control of power with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and the application of 0.5 V using an external power supply were used to investigate the resultant modified electroplating charac...
Article
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Oil reservoir souring and associated material integrity challenges are of great concern to the petroleum industry. The bioengineering strategy of nitrate injection has proven successful for controlling souring in some cases, but recent reports indicate increased corrosion in nitrate-treated produced water reinjection facilities. Sulfide-oxidizing,...
Article
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Water quality sensing is a promising application for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as the outputs have been shown to correlate with biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Nonetheless to date, the upper limit of amperometric linear calibrations from MFC-based BOD sensors has been limited to approximately 250–340 mg l−1 BOD5, attributed to substrate saturati...
Article
Sulfate reducing microorganisms are typically involved in hydrocarbon biodegradation in the sea sediment, with their metabolism resulting in the by-production of toxic sulfide. In this context, it is of utmost importance identifying the optimal value for anodic potential which ensures efficient toxic sulfide removal. Along this line, in this study...
Article
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Sulfite-reducing and sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) play important roles in anoxic environments, linking the sulfur and carbon cycles. With climate warming, the distribution of anoxic habitats conductive to dissimilatory SRM is expanding. Consequently, we hypothesize that novel SRM are likely to emerge from the rare biosphere triggered by en...
Article
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A novel framework, integrating dynamic simulation (DS), life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic assessment (TEA) of a bioelectrochemical system (BES), has been developed to study for the first time wastewater treatment by removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) by oxidation in anode and thereby harvesting electron and proton for carbon diox...
Article
The majority of studies focusing on bioelectrochemical systems (BES) report the utilization of carbon-based electrodes. However, in order to overcome the limitations related to the scale-up of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) and Microbial Electro Synthesis (MES) cells technologies, the utilization of metal-based electrodes need to be considered due to t...
Article
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In offshore production facilities, large amounts of deaerated seawater are continuously injected to maintain pressure in oil reservoirs and equivalent volumes of fluids, composed of an oil/gas, and water mixture are produced. This process, brewing billions of liters of biphasic fluids particularly rich in microorganisms, goes through complex steel...
Preprint
Laminated microbial mats and microbialites are documented from a variety of coastal marine environments. These features form through: a) the combination of trapping and binding of allochthonous grains, and b) microbially-mediated or controlled precipitation of a variety of minerals, including high-magnesium calcite and dolomite. Intertidal pools an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Laminated microbial mats and microbialites are documented from a variety of coastal marine environments. These features form through: a) the combination of trapping and binding of allochthonous grains, and b) microbially-mediated or controlled precipitation of a variety of minerals, including high-magnesium calcite and dolomite. Intertidal pools an...
Article
Full-text available
Endospores of thermophilic bacteria are found in cold and temperate sediments where they persist in a dormant state. As inactive endospores that cannot grow at the low ambient temperatures, they are akin to tracer particles in cold sediments, unaffected by factors normally governing microbial biogeography (e.g. selection, drift, mutation). This mak...
Article
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Oil and gas percolate profusely through the sediments of the Gulf of Mexico, leading to numerous seeps at the seafloor, where complex microbial, and sometimes animal communities flourish. Sediments from three areas (two cold seeps with contrasting hydrocarbon composition and a site outside any area of active seepage) of the Gulf of Mexico were inve...
Article
Marine sediments represent an important sink for a number of anthropogenic organic contaminants, including petroleum hydrocarbons following an accidental oil spill. Degradation of these compounds largely depends on the activity of sedimentary microbial communities linked to biogeochemical cycles, in which abundant elements such as iron and sulfur a...
Article
This study extends the analysis of previously well studied biodegraded crude oil case history sample sets. The analytical window is extended into the high molecular weight, aromatic hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon fraction of crude oils, using a 12 T ultra-high resolution mass spectrometer (FTICR-MS). Biodegradation is pervasive across compound gro...
Article
Full-text available
Open access available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dep2.33/full Abstract The stratigraphic record of microbially-induced sedimentary structures spans most of the depositional record. Today, microbes continue to generate, bind and modify sediments in a vast range of depositional environments. One of the most cited of these settings...
Article
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As we transition from fossil fuel reliance to a new energy future, innovative microbial biotechnologies may offer new routes to maximize recovery from conventional and unconventional energy assets; as well as contributing to reduced emission pathways and new technologies for carbon capture and utilization. Here we discuss the role of microbiology i...
Article
Anaerobic biotransformation of petroleum hydrocarbons is an important alteration mechanism, both subsurface in geological reservoirs, in aquifers and in anoxic deep sea environments. Here we report the resolution and identification, by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC×GC–MS), of complex mixtures of aromatic aci...
Article
Full-text available
Subsurface petroleum reservoirs are an important component of the deep biosphere where indigenous microorganisms live under extreme conditions and in isolation from the Earth/'s surface for millions of years. However, unlike the bulk of the deep biosphere, the petroleum reservoir deep biosphere is subject to extreme anthropogenic perturbation, with...
Article
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Comprehensive assessment of environmental biodegradability of pollutants is limited by the use of low-throughput systems. These are epitomized by OECD Ready Biodegradability Tests (RBTs), where one sample from an environment may be used to assess a chemical’s ability to readily biodegrade or persist universally in that environment. This neglects th...
Data
Geochemical characteristics of the ground water samples.
Data
Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling of (A) bacterial and (B) archaeal ARISA dataset.
Data
Time series of dissolved oxygen (green) and methane (blue) proportion in water wells GW2, GW1, and GW9 between 2011 and 2014. Data for other wells are not available.
Data
Diagram representing the sampling history of the water wells.
Data
DNA isolation procedure, microbial abundance and diversity indexes.
Data
PCR primers used for PCR, ARISA and real-time quantitative PCR.
Data
Schematic map of the sampled wells (Altitude of the well/well depth in meters).
Article
Full-text available
The Pennsylvania region hosts numerous oil and gas reservoirs and the presence of hydrocarbons in groundwater has been locally observed. However, these methane-containing freshwater ecosystems remain poorly explored despite their potential importance in the carbon cycle. Methane isotope analysis and analysis of low molecular weight hydrocarbon gase...
Article
Full-text available
Aerobic biocathodes provide a low-cost and sustainable substitute for expensive precious metal catalysts at the cathode of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). However, the abiotic formation of peroxide, which is catalyzed by the porous carbon support at certain cathode potentials, may be detrimental to their activity. Two different carbon felt supports, o...
Article
Annually, thousands of oil spills occur across the globe. As a result, petroleum substances and petrochemical compounds are widespread contaminants causing concern due to their toxicity and recalcitrance. Many remediation strategies have been developed using both physicochemical and biological approaches. Biological strategies are most benign, aimi...
Article
Full-text available
Here we introduce a MIxS extension to facilitate the recording and cataloguing of metadata from samples related to hydrocarbon resources. The proposed MIxS-HCR package incorporates the core features of the MIxS standard for marker gene (MIMARKS) and metagenomic (MIMS) sequences along with a hydrocarbon resources customized environmental package. Ad...
Article
Three hydrocarbon reservoir cores were obtained from a high temperature non-waterflooded offshore reservoir. All three cores were taken from a 56-m section of the same well. Under sterile conditions, DNA was recovered from the inner section of each core and the microbial community profiles were deduced by sequencing the 16S rRNA marker gene. Taxono...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which convert organic waste to electricity, could be used to make the wastewater infrastructure more energy efficient and sustainable. However, platinum and other non-platinum chemical catalysts used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode of MFCs are unsustainable due to their high cost and long-term deg...
Article
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This roadmap examines the future of microbiology research and technology in fossil fuel energy recovery. Globally, the human population will be reliant on fossil fuels for energy and chemical feedstocks for at least the medium term. Microbiology is already important in many areas relevant to both upstream and downstream activities in the oil indust...
Chapter
Recent studies have shown that microorganisms and microbial activity in oil reservoirs and the associated production systems are much more prominent than was originally thought. These findings, in conjunction with technological advances in bio-related disciplines, have revolutionized the way we understand and manage these biological processes. Here...
Article
Despite some success with microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells in recovering resources from wastes, challenges with their scale and yield need to be resolved. Waste streams from biorefineries e.g. bioethanol and biodiesel plants and wastewaters are plausible substrates for microbial electrosynthesis (MES). MES integration can help...
Article
Full-text available
Offshore oil production facilities are frequently victims of internal piping corrosion, potentially leading to human and environmental risks and significant economic losses. Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) is believed to be an important factor in this major problem for the petroleum industry. However, knowledge of the microbial communities a...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrocarbons released during oil spills are persistent in marine sediments due to the absence of suitable electron acceptors below the oxic zone. Here we investigated an alternative bioremediation strategy to remove toluene, a model monoaromatic hydrocarbon, using a bioanode. Bioelectrochemical reactors were inoculated with sediment collected from...
Chapter
A.chro.ma' ti.um. Gr. pref. a not; Gr. n. chromatium color, paint; M.L. neut. n. Achromatium that which is not colored. Proteobacteria / Gammaproteobacteria / Thiotrichales / Thiotrichaceae / Achromatium Spherical to ovoid or cylindrical unicells with hemispherical ends. In natural populations, cells of widely different sizes appear. Cells vary in...
Chapter