Bioremediation

In: Science

Submitted By braunder
Words 1392
Pages 6
Introduction

There has been an emergence of interest in the use of biological systems and bioremediation to degrade, modify, move, transform or sequester environmental contaminants. Traditional methods of remediation include chemical and physical processing and are often plagued with problems such as the creation of toxic bi-products and environmental damage. Bioremediation of a site offers the advantages of lower costs, environmental soundness, insitu or exsitu solutions, higher aesthetics, and increased public acceptance. The following will focus on how microorganisms can be used and manipulated to remediate various sites of environmental contaminants.

Bioremediation

Definition

Bioremediation is the use of microbes, fungi or plants to remove toxic contaminants from a site. This can be accomplished in situ or ex situ. In situ bioremediation involves remediating the contaminant at the site of contamination. In situ remediation requires extensive monitoring to ensure the success of the remediation effort and to control environmental impacts. Ex situ remediation involves removing the contaminants from the site and treating them at a processing location in a bioreactor. While this method may be more financially and environmentally costly, it allows more control over the remediation process. This includes setting growth conditions in the reactor and choosing foreign or engineered microbes that may be more efficient at remediating than native organisms.

Advantages

Interest in bioremediation has increased in recent years as it is seen as a more environmentally-friendly method of dealing with anthropogenic contaminants. Additionally, bioremediation offers a cost-effective strategy to remove dispersed contaminants from an area using processes that capitalize on natural processes. This results in less danger to the environment and the workers. Lastly,…...

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