ROLE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE ENVIRONMENT

ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
• Environment means “surroundings” • Includes air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), soil ( lithosphere) and living entities ( biosphere ). • Growth of cities, population explosion and rapid industrial development have led to the release of various contaminants • Quality of life on earth is linked to the quality of the environment sustaining it.

• Onslaught of the environment :
Increased population
 overexploitation of land, air and water resources  destruction of biodiversity and natural resources  injection of hazardous substances

HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
• • • • Advent of the Industrial Revolution Release of industrial pollutants. Waste generation in tremendous amounts Result : environmental deterioration

Historical Significance of the Industrial Revolution • An ancient Greek or Roman would have been just as comfortable in Europe in 1700 because daily life was not much different – agriculture and technology were not much changed in 2000+ years • The Industrial Revolution changed human life drastically • More was created in the last 250+ years than in the previous 2500+ years of known human history .

from human labor to machines • The more efficient means of production and subsequent higher levels of production triggered far-reaching changes to industrialized societies .What was the Industrial Revolution? • The Industrial Revolution was a fundamental change in the way goods were produced.

oil (gas. solar.The Industrial Revolution  Machines were invented which replaced human labor  New energy sources were developed to power the new machinery – water. coal. copper. electricity. iron. . etc. kerosene)  Some historians place advances in atomic. steam. and wind energy at the later stages of the Industrial Revolution  Increased use of metals and minerals  Aluminum.

The Industrial Revolution  Transportation improved  Ships ○ Wooden ships → Iron ships → Steel ships ○ Wind-powered sails → Steam-powered boilers  Trains  Automobiles  Communication improved  Telegraph  Telephone  Radio .

the sciences.Developments  Mass production of goods  Increased numbers of goods  Increased diversity of goods produced  Development of factory system of production  Rural-to-urban migration  People left farms to work in cities  Development of capitalism  Financial capital for continued industrial growth  Development and growth of new socio-economic classes  Working class. and overall industrial growth . bourgeoisie. and wealthy industrial class  Commitment to research and development  Investments in new technologies  Industrial and governmental interest in promoting invention.

Lavoisier. Newton. etc. Voltaire.  Intellectual Revolution  17th and 18th centuries  Writings of Locke. etc.  Atmosphere of discovery and free intellectual inquiry  Greater knowledge of the world  Weakened superstition and tradition  Encouraged learning and the search for better and newer ways of doing things .Background of the Industrial Revolution  Scientific Revolution  17th and 18th centuries  Discoveries of Boyle.

slow changes • After 1750 – these changes were noticeable first in England .England: Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution • No concrete start date for the Industrial Revolution • Marked by gradual.

Why the Industrial Revolution Started in England Capital for investing in the means of production Colonies and Markets for manufactured goods Raw materials for production Workers Merchant marine Geography .

“Necessity Is the Mother of Invention” Spinning machine Need to speed up weaving Power loom created .

“Necessity Is the Mother of Invention” Power loom Increased demand for raw cotton Invention of the cotton gin .

“Necessity Is the Mother of Invention” Cotton gin Demands for stronger iron Improvements in iron smelting and the development of steel (Bessemer process) .

factories needed more coal to create this steam Mining methods improved to meet the demand for more coal •The process of inventing never ends •One invention inevitably leads to improvements upon it and to more inventions .“Necessity Is the Mother of Invention” As more steam-powered machines were built.

• Cell phones were initially used by professionals who needed fast communications for business. • Compare between the original cell phone and the current I Phone . • Cell phone towers were built around the globe.• An excellent example of this phenomenon is the personal computer or cell phone. • The everyday usefulness of cell phones was quickly apparent. increasing demand. and cell phone technology continues to grow more complex.

societies. in the industrialized world. food preservation. and experimental stations  Progress in agriculture  Pesticides. stock breeding. new farming techniques and irrigation methods.Agricultural Revolution  Agriculture became a science during the Agricultural Revolution  Farmers and governments invested in agricultural research  Established agricultural schools. new foods. frozen foods  Result  Today. much more food is grown by far fewer farmers than was grown 200 years ago (or is grown today in the non-industrialized world) .

the United States. or old. and rural-to-urban migration . Belgium. and France  Saw fundamental changes in agriculture.The First and Second Industrial Revolutions The first. Industrial Revolution took place between about 1750 and 1870  Took place in England. the development of factories.

radios. fans. farms. Japan. and Russia  Electricity became the primary source of power for factories. television sets) . particularly of consumer goods  Use of electrical power saw electronics enter the marketplace (electric lights.The second Industrial Revolution took place between about 1870 and 1960  Saw the spread of the Industrial Revolution to places such as Germany. and homes  Mass production.

Industrial Staffordshire .

Problems of Polution The Silent Highwayman .1858 .

The New Industrial City .

Early-19c London by Gustave Dore .

Worker Housing in Manchester .

 The effect of DDT residues on bird population • Minamata Bay – mercury poisoning • Agent Orange – used in chemical warfare in the Vietnam War • Hazardous waste production in developed countries – US. Japan – 180. 100 and 5. Netherlands.5kg per capita per year .Major Landmarks • 1960s – the first landmark episode of toxic chemical pollution – reported by Ms Rachel Carson – Silent Spring.

THE PROBLEM • • • • • • Chemicals in the environment Natural chemical compounds Atmospheric pollutants Water contamination Solid Wastes Hazardous wastes .

Cd. Pb – effect on wildlife. biodiversity. . organic compounds. hormones. antibiotics. ozone depletion. flora and fauna • Release of non-metals.I) CHEMICALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT • Agriculture – use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. metalloids.  contamination of ground and surface water  heavy metals – mercury. acid rain.  undergo processes in the atmosphere and transform into toxic compounds  photochemical reaction. global warming.

thermal powerplants. refineries.II) ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTANTS • Ambient air quality – very much lower and impact more pronounced in metropolitans and urban areas. • Indoor air pollution . industries. • Emissions from vehicles.

Criteria : Air Pollutants • EPA uses six "criteria pollutants" as indicators of air quality • EPA established for each of them a maximum concentration above which adverse effects on human health may occur. 30 .

NO2. other oxides of N – Causes bronchitis.Criteria : air pollutants • Nitrogen Dioxide: NO2 – brownish gas irritates the respiratory system originates from combustion (N2 in air is oxidized). NOx sum of NO. 31 . pneumonia – precursor both to ozone (O3) and acid rain – oxidation of the primary air pollutant nitric oxide (NO) – The two major emissions sources are transportation and stationary fuel combustion sources such as electric utility and industrial boilers.

. chemical manufacturing. paint shops and other sources using solvents.• Ozone: ground level O3 – primary constituent of urban smog – concentrations of O3 at ground level are a major health and environmental concern • reaction of VOC + NOx in presence of heat +sun light = ozone • Peak O3 levels occur typically during the warmer times of the year. reduces lung function and sensitizes the lungs to other irritants. The reactivity of O3 causes health problems because it damages lung tissue. • VOCs are emitted from sources as diverse as autos. Both VOCs and NOx are emitted by transportation and industrial sources. dry cleaners.

• Carbon monoxide (CO) • colorless. • Exposure to elevated CO levels can cause impairment of visual perception. odorless and poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon in fuels. it reduces the delivery of oxygen to the body's organs and tissues. particularly those with angina or peripheral vascular disease. learning ability and performance of complex tasks. • Health threats are most serious for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease. • When CO enters the bloodstream. • 77% of the nationwide CO emissions are from transportation sources . manual dexterity.

kidney. non-ferrous smelters. mental retardation and/or behavioral disorders – Lead gasoline additives. blood forming organs – Exposure to lead (Pb) can occur through multiple pathways. toxic to liver.• Lead: Pb – cause learning disabilities in children . including inhalation of air and ingestion of Pb in food. – Excessive Pb exposure can cause seizures. and battery plants are the most significant contributors to atmospheric Pb emissions – tetraethyl lead – anti knock agent in gasoline • leaded gasoline has been phased out 34 . soil or dust. water.

- • . steel mills.• Sulfur dioxide (SO2) . or acid rain.affects breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. pulp and paper mills and from nonferrous smelters. primary contributor to acid deposition. visibility impairment Ambient SO2 results largely from stationary sources such as coal and oil combustion. children and the elderly. which causes acidification of lakes and streams and can damage trees. Sensitive populations . individuals with bronchitis or emphysema. historic buildings and statues. crops.asthmatics. refineries.

. construction activity. fires and natural windblown dust. smoke and liquid droplets directly emitted into the air by sources such as factories.wind-blown dust. vehicles traveling on unpaved roads. – Air pollutants called particulate matter include dust. soot. dirt. cars.5fine) – respiratory disorders – industrial and residential combustion and vehicle exhaust – Sources of Coarse particles . materials handling. power plants.• Particulate Matter: PM10 (PM 2. and crushing and grinding operations.

pulp and paper mills and from nonferrous smelters. or acid rain – Health problems – aggravates respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease – Visibility impairment – Sources – coal and oil combustion. oil) containing S is burned and metal smelting – precursor to acid rain along with Nox – SO2 is also a primary contributor to acid deposition. . refineries.• Sulfur Dioxide: SO2 – formed when fuel (coal. steel mills.

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sprays. sedimentation. musts Atmosphere Particles Masses Air deposition terrestrial Uptake Bioaccumulation Volatilization. coagulation. condensation deposition Volatilization.Pollutants – diffusion. dust Release soil water Uptake plants animals Bioaccumulation Soil solids sorption organisms Soil solids sorption microorganisms release release Release Soil water Erosion and Run-off Irrigation . reaction.

BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT • Biotech methods used in : – assessing the well-being of ecosystems – transformation of pollutants to benign substances – generate biodegradeable materials – develop eco-friendly manufacturing and dsiposal processes .

• Better understanding of the mechanisms of pollutant action at cellular and molecular levels – biomagnification.  DDT concentration in dolphins is 1000 times more than sea water .• Biotechnology – technology that employs biomaterials and biological principles to produce beneficial products of human need. biomethylation of toxic metals. • In the environmental arena. it has added a new dimension in pollution biosurveillance. bio-sensing and bio-abatement using GMO’s with upgraded efficiency yo scavenge pollutants • Minimization of pollution load.

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Water. and Soil Biotechnology Bioenvironment & Engineering Environmental Biotechnology Microbiology and microbial ecology Chemistry inorganic and Organic . Toxicogenomics and Detoxification Biochemistry Catabolic Proteins and Intermediate Metabolites ENVIRONMENT Air.Plant based bioremediation & transgenics Microbe-based Bioremediation Phytoremediation Ex.situ Bioremediation Process Engineering Engineering molecular protein biosensor & microassay In-situ Bioremediation Molecular biology catabolic genes and proteins Toxicology.

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