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Bioremediation

Bioremediation

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Published by Arush Sidana

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Published by: Arush Sidana on Mar 07, 2011
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1
Bioremediation
 
Bioremediation uses living organisms to clean up contaminated soil or water.
 
Bioremediation is a combination of two words ² bio, short for biological andremediation, which means to remedy.
 
he use of plants to clean up the environment, known as phytoremediation, is alsoconsidered a type of bioremediation.
he main types of bioremediation are as follows:
Biostimulation
-- Nutrients and oxygen - in a liquid or gas form - are added tocontaminated water or soil to encourage the growth and activity of bacteria alreadyexisting in the soil or water.
he disappearance of contaminants is monitored to ensure that remediation occurs.
Bioaugmentation
-- Microorganisms that can clean up a particular contaminant areadded to the contaminated soil or water.
 
Bioaugmentation is more commonly and successfully used on contaminants removedfrom the original site, such as in municipal wastewater treatment facilities.
I
ntrinsic Bioremediation
-- Also known as natural attenuation, this type ofbioremediation occurs naturally in contaminated soil or water.
 
his natural bioremediation is the work of microorganisms and is seen in petroleumcontamination sites, such as old gas stations with leaky underground oil tanks.
 
All three types of bioremediation can be used at the site of contamination (in situ)or on contamination removed from the original site (ex situ).
 
2
 
H
ow Does Bioremediation Work?
 Bioremediation depends on the natural biological processes of microorganisms, oneof which is metabolism.
icrobial
Me 
tabolism
 
 
Metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions that happen in a cell or organism.
 
All living processes are based on a complex series of chemical reactions.
 
Metabolic processes fall into two types ² those that build complex molecularstructures from simpler molecules, called anabolism, and those that breaks downcomplex molecules into simpler molecules, called catabolism.
Ana 
bolism ² Buildi
ng 
Up 
 
 
I
n anabolism, chemicals taken up by the microorganism are used to build various cellparts.
 
C
arbon and nitrogen are the basic chemicals in the proteins, sugars and nucleicacids that make up microbial cells.
 
Microorganisms take up carbon and nitrogen from the soil, water, and air aroundthem.
 
I
n order to take up nutrients and make them into cell parts, a microorganism needsenergy.
t
bolism ² Br
ak 
i
ng 
Dow
 
 
C
atabolism allows microorganisms to gain energy from the chemicals available in theenvironment.
 
Although most microorganisms are exposed to light and to chemical energy sources,most rely on chemicals for their energy.
 
W
hen chemicals break down, energy is released.
 
3
 
 
Microorganisms use this energy to carry out cellular functions, such as thoseinvolved in anabolism.
Ana 
bolism
and 
 
t
bolism's Rol
i
Bior
eme 
i
tio
 
 
C
hemicals present at contaminated sites become part of the anabolism andcatabolism process.
 
F
or example, hydrocarbons (part of the carbon family) present at sites withpetroleum products can be taken up by microorganisms and used as building blocksfor cell components.
 
Microorganisms also need trace elements of other chemicals, including chromium,cobalt, copper, and iron, all of which can be available in abundance at contaminatedsites.
Bioremediation:
Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to destroy or immobilize wastematerialsMicroorganisms include:
y
 
Bacteria (aerobic and anaerobic)
y
 
F
ungi
y
 
Actinomycetes (filamentous bacteria)
Bioremediation mechanism
Microorganisms destroy organic contaminants in the course of using the chemicalsfor their own growth and reproduction.Organic chemicals provide: carbon, source of cell building material electrons, sourceof energy
C
ells catalyze oxidation of organic chemicals (electron donors), causingtransfer of electrons from organic chemicals to some electron acceptor.

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