What is bioremediation and how does it work?

Asked By: Pasqualina Ardao | Last Updated: 21st January, 2020
Category: business and finance green solutions
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Bioremediation is a branch of biotechnology employing the use of living organisms like microbes and bacteria to remove contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from soil and water. Bioremediation may be used to clean up environmental problems such as oil spills, or contaminated groundwater.

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Likewise, people ask, what are some examples of bioremediation?

Some examples of bioremediation related technologies are phytoremediation, mycoremediation, bioventing, bioleaching, landfarming, bioreactor, composting, bioaugmentation, rhizofiltration, and biostimulation.

Additionally, how does bioremediation help the environment? Bioremediation works by providing these pollution-eating organisms with fertilizer, oxygen, and other conditions that encourage their rapid growth. These organisms would then be able to break down the organic pollutant at a correspondingly faster rate. In fact, bioremediation is often used to help clean up oil spills.

Similarly one may ask, how long does it take for bioremediation to work?

It may take a few months or even several years for microbes to clean up a site, depending on several factors. For example, bioremediation will take longer where: • Contaminant concentrations are high, or contami- nants are trapped in hard-to-reach areas, like rock fractures and dense soil.

How is bioremediation used?

Bioremediation. Bioremediation is the process of using living organisms to remove toxic contaminants from soil or groundwater. Bioremediation has been successfully used to to clean up pollutants including crude oil, gasoline, pesticides, sewage, and chlorinated solvents used in cleaning supplies.

30 Related Question Answers Found

What are the two types of bioremediation?

There are two different types of bioremediation, in situ and ex situ.

What are the disadvantages of bioremediation?

Disadvantages of bioremediation include (Sharma & Reddy, 2004): If the process is not controlled it is possible the organic contaminants may not be broken down fully resulting in toxic by-products that could be more mobile than the initial contamination.

What types of bacteria are used in bioremediation?

Below are several specific bacteria species known to participate in bioremediation.
  • Pseudomonas putida.
  • Dechloromonas aromatica.
  • Deinococcus radiodurans.
  • Methylibium petroleiphilum.
  • Alcanivorax borkumensis.
  • Phanerochaete chrysosporium.

What are the methods of bioremediation?

What are the Different Types of Bioremediation?
  • Microbial bioremediation uses microorganisms to break down contaminants by using them as a food source.
  • Phytoremediation uses plants to bind, extract, and clean up pollutants such as pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, and chlorinated solvents.

Why do we need bioremediation?

Bioremediation technology makes it possible to clean up the oceans after major oil spills and other unfortunate environmental disasters. By using naturally occurring bacteria to eliminate contaminants in the sea, we protect and encourage aqua-culturists and their attempts to solve the problem of global food production.

What can bioremediation clean up?

Bioremediation is the process by which microbes (generally bacteria) or plants transform a harmful water contaminant into a non-harmful substance, much as we turn sugar into carbon dioxide and water. Bioremediation can help clean up ground water contaminated with gasoline, solvents, and other contaminants.

When has bioremediation been used?

Bioremediation was used extensively to combat the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. In both oil spills, microorganisms were used to consume petroleum hydrocarbons and played a significant role in reducing the environmental impact.

What is bioremediation in biology?

bioremediation. [ bī′ō-rĭ-mē′dē-ā′sh?n ] The use of biological agents, such as bacteria, fungi, or green plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water. Bacteria and fungi generally work by breaking down contaminants such as petroleum into less harmful substances.

How effective is bioremediation?

Bioremediation has been most successful in cleaning up oil spills in the oceans. One of the important ways of cleaning up this oil spill was by using enhanced in-situ bioremediation techniques where fertilizers were added to provide nutrients to the microbes in cleaning up the oil spill by their metabolic action.

What is biodegradation process?

Biodegradation is the naturally-occurring breakdown of materials by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi or other biological activity. Essentially, composting is an accelerated biodegradation process due to optimized circumstances.

How well does bioremediation work?

Advantages of Bioremediation
By relying solely on natural processes, it's a relatively green method that minimizes damage to ecosystems. Bioremediation often takes place underground, where amendments and microbes can be pumped, in order to clean up contaminants in groundwater and soil.

Who discovered bioremediation?

Bioremediation was first discovered around 600 BC by the Romans. Although their versions of the process aren't as developed as today's, they were still able to use it. They used bioremediation to clean their waste water. Much later, in the 1960's, bio-remediation was officially invented by George Robinson.

How much does soil remediation cost?

Excavation and incineration of contaminated soil can cost $1,500 per ton, leading to total costs of many millions of dollars at large sites. (Superfund clean-ups have averaged about $26 million.) In contrast, small fuel spills at gasoline stations may be mitigated using vapor extraction at costs under $50,000.

What is the difference between in situ and ex situ bioremediation?

In in situ bioremediation, contaminants are treated at the same site using biological systems. In ex situ bioremediation, contaminants are treated in some other place from the original site. This is the key difference between in situ and ex situ bioremediation.

Where is biofilm found?

Biofilms have been found growing on minerals and metals. They have been found underwater, underground and above the ground. They can grow on plant tissues and animal tissues, and on implanted medical devices such as catheters and pacemakers. Each of these distinct surfaces has a common defining feature: they are wet.

How does biological augmentation work?

Biological augmentation is the addition of archaea or bacterial cultures required to speed up the rate of degradation of a contaminant. Organisms that originate from contaminated areas may already be able to break down waste, but perhaps inefficiently and slowly.

What is microbial remediation?

The use of microbes such as bacteria and fungi for soil rejuvenation is a form of environmental remediation. The objective of microbial remediation is to remove soil contaminants and pollutants. Natural attenuation: The process takes place naturally with indigenous soil microorganisms.