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What is Bioremediation?

Bioremediation is the process to detoxify the pollution from the environment. It is a mechanism to reduce adverse effects of waste on health, the environment or aesthetics. In this article, we have discussed on the concept of Bioremediation and its typology which is very useful for the competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Apr 11, 2019 12:44 IST
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Bioremediation
Bioremediation

The quality of life on Earth is linked inextricably to the overall quality of the environment. Waste management is associated with all kinds of waste, whether generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, or other human activities, including municipal (residential, institutional, commercial), agriculture, health care, household hazardous wastes and sewage sludge. It is a mechanism to reduce adverse effects of waste on health, the environment or aesthetics.

What is Bioremediation?

Bioremediation can be defined as the methodology to remove or neutralises waste and toxic substances in the environment with the help of microorganism and plants. In other words, it is the process to detoxify the pollution from the environment with the help of microorganisms, plants, or microbial or plant enzymes.

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Types of bioremediation

There are two types of bioremediation which are discussed below:

1. In situ Bioremediation

When the detoxification of waste is done at the original site of the contamination is called In situ Bioremediation. It is mainly used to treat contaminations in soil and ground water. But the process of In situ bioremediation depends on the various factors which are given below:

(a) Typology of contamination

(b) Characteristics of site

(c) Distribution and concentration of contaminants

(d) Identification of microbial community at the site

(e) Temperature

(f) pH value of the site

(g) Identification of Moisture content

(h) Nutrient supply

The above factors are highly superficial and not practical for the In situ bioremediation. Hence, the In situ bioremediation uses methods like aeration, nutrient addition, controlling moisture content to increase the rate of degradation. For example: bio-venting, enhanced biodegradation etc.

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2. Ex situ Bioremediation

When the detoxification of waste is done away from the original site of the contamination is called Ex situ Bioremediation. In this process, the contaminants are unearthed from the original site and then treated in the controlled environment. For Example: composting, soil bio-piles etc.

Advantages of Bioremediation

1. It is natural process and it requires acceptable waste treatment process for contaminated substance such as soil.

2. It is useful for the complete removal of contaminants.

3. It is less expensive than the other mechanism or technologies that are used for the removal of hazardous waste.

Disadvantages of Bioremediation

1. It is limited to those compounds that are biodegradable.

2. It is difficult to generalise from bench and pilot-scale studies to full-scale field operations.

3. It takes longer than other treatment options, such as excavation and removal of soil or incineration.

Hence, we can say that Bioremediation is the method of the reducing or destroying the concentration of pollutants in the environment through the biological systems. It is very cost effective, safe and nature-based method of detoxifying the pollutants from the environment. It is one of the best way to detoxifying the contaminants from the environment because it identify the form of waste then moves to the detoxification.

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