A method and apparatus for determining the nutrients to stimulate microorganisms in a particular environment. A representative sample of microorganisms from a particular environment are contacted with multiple support means wherein each support means has intimately associated with the surface of the support means a different nutrient composition for said microorganisms in said sample. The multiple support means is allowed to remain in contact with the microorganisms in the sample for a time period sufficient to measure differences in microorganism effects for the multiple support means. Microorganism effects for the multiple support means are then measured and compared. The invention is particularly adaptable to being conducted in situ. The additional steps of regulating nutrients added to the particular environment of microorganisms can enhance the desired results. Biological systems particularly suitable for this invention are bioremediation, biologically enhanced oil recovery, biological leaching of metals, and agricultural bioprocesses.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under Contract Number DE-AC07-76ID01570 between the U.S. Department of Energy and EG&G Idaho, Inc., now Contract Number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.