Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bioremediation

Of all the different technologies that have been explored as a solution for the waste cleaning problem, Bioremediation has come out as the most attractive approach to clean many environmental pollutants. This technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms to degrade toxic substances into less-toxic or no-toxic materials. The microorganisms break down contaminants by using them as a food source. Bioremediation seems to be a cost effective, natural process that can be applicable to many common organic wastes and that can be helpful in the elimination of different waste in a lot of areas.

But how does it work?
Microorganisms must be active and healthy in order for bioremediation to take place. Bioremediation technologies assist microorganisms' growth and increases microbial populations by creating optimum environmental conditions for them to detoxify the maximum amount of contaminants (Bioremediation Inc.).
Generally, bioremediation technologies can be classified as in situ or ex situ. In situ bioremediation involves treating the contaminated material at the site while ex situ involves the removal of the contaminated material to be treated elsewhere.

Bioremediation can be applied in a lot of areas: water and soil cleaning (Aster Bio), elimination of textile (African Journal of Biotechnology) and paper effluents…

I hope this field keeps growing and that the areas of application of this technology increase. There has to be inversion in the current studies for developing products that make easier to find the waste and develop the potential microorganism that will be able to clean the pollutant, so let’s hope that more companies do R&D in this field.
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