Role of Microbes in the Smectite-to-Illite Reaction

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5659, pp. 830-832
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093245

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Temperature, pressure, and time have been thought to control the smectite-to-illite (S-I) reaction, an important diagenetic process used for petroleum exploration. We demonstrated that microorganisms can promote the S-I reaction by dissolving smectite through reduction of structural Fe(III) at room temperature and 1atmosphere within 14 days. This reaction typically requires conditions of 300° to 350°C, 100 megapascals, and 4 to 5 months in the absence of microbial activity. These results challenge the conventional concept of the S-I reaction and of reaction kinetic models.

    View Full Text