Types of Bioremediation

The process of bioremediation can be done in two different ways, in situ and ex situ. During in situ, the contaminated materials are treated at the site. During ex situ, the contaminated materials are removed and treated somewhere else.

What are the disadvantages?
• Bioremediation is a slow process

• During bioremediation, heavy metals are not degraded • The number of microorganisms must be increased. This is difficult to control. • May produce toxic by-products

What is Bioremediation?
How does it work?
Bioremediation is basically a system used to remove pollutants from soil or groundwater. Bioremediation uses naturally occurring microorganisms, or microbes, to clean up the toxic chemicals. These microbes consume the chemicals, from the contaminated soil, or groundwater, and release them as water or harmless gasses like carbon dioxide. This does occur naturally, but sometimes there are few or no microbes in a contaminated site. When there are not enough microbes working, the conditions must be altered. The soil or water must have certain nutrients, be a certain temperature and it must have the right amount of oxygen. Unfortunately the microbes cannot consume and harmlessly release all pollutants. Things like cadmium, lead or sodium chloride cannot be ‘digested’ by a microbe.

Biostimulation (in situ): Nutrients and oxygen are added to the water or soil to advance the growth of the already present bacteria that can decompose contaminants. Bioaugmentation (ex situ): Microorganisms that clean a specific contaminant are added to the water or soil. Intrinsic Bioremediation (in situ): Microorganisms work naturally in the contaminated water or soil.

Must be carefully monitored

• Still more research must be done to fully understand this process • Bioremediation does not remove 100% of pollutants

Why Bioremediation?
What are the benefits?
       Microbes themselves are completely harmless All natural Cheaper than most removal methods Less equipment needed Already occurs naturally in some sites Releases toxic chemicals as safe gasses and water Works for most toxic chemicals

Does it Actually Work?
Where has it worked?
Bioremediation works to remove pollutants in water and soil so there is not further contamination that may harm a community. Although bioremediation has been around for a while, there is still research to be done to help us understand how it successfully works. Bioremediation has helped many places escape the threat of poisoned drinking water and other polluted materials. For example, in 1975 in South Carolina, there was a military fuel storage leak. This fuel leaked into the soil and made its way to water. Quickly, the ground water was contaminated. The corruption had reached a community by 1985. A solution was needed to clean the water. It was observed that microorganisms were turning the waste into oxygen. Nutrients were added to the water to increase the rate of biodegrading and the problem was fixed. Bioremediation is very helpful in helping clean toxic spills. Some more general examples of where bioremediation has worked are oil spills, gas leaks, and fertilizers in the soil. In many petroleum contamination sites, bioremediation has been used. Where there are old gas stations and leaks in the pipes, bioremediation can be used as a natural way to clean the problem.

http://water.usgs.gov/wid/html/bioremed .html http://www.bionewsonline.com/w/what_i s_bioremediation.htm

http://www.biobasics.gc.ca/english/View .asp?x=741
http://ejournal.vudat.msu.edu/index.php/ mmg445/article/viewArticle/MMG445.45 43071/395 http://marvel-ofebt.blogspot.ca/2011/01/advantagesand-disadvantages.html http://agrotechnopark.blogspot.ca/2011/10/advantageand-disadvantages-of.html http://www.epa.gov/tio/download/citizen s/bioremediation.pdf http://www.bionewsonline.com/w/what_i s_bioremediation.htm

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