Bioremediation is a branch of biotechnology that is concerned with creating methods to solve environmental problems. In practice, bioremediation is the use of microorganisms and fungi to clean the environment from contaminants and pollutants. Not all contaminants can be broken down into organic matter and nutrients, and that is why bioremediation works only with contaminants that can be easily digested and cleaned by bacteria. Some of the contaminating substances that can be cleaned using bacteria include chlorinated pesticides and oil spills.
Bioremediation is a wonderful process that cleans even the most incredibly polluted waters or soils. Different types of microorganisms are applied to remove different toxins and contaminants.
In nature, there are a variety of environments and habitats for different organisms and that is what bioremediation does: it offers microbes just the perfect setting to start doing what they do best, feed and multiply. In this way, the bacteria can break down the offending contaminants and leave behind clean soil or water that is non-hazardous.
Types of Bioremediation
Bioremediation comes in varying forms, which are all used to remove toxic and contaminating substances from the environment.
- Biostimulation - As the name suggests, biostimulation is a form of bioremediation that motivates bacteria to start the cleaning process. The stimulation is done by adding nutrients and other important substances in the habitat for bacteria to start feeding and multiplying.
- Bioaugmentation - Bioaugmnetation is a practice in which actively growing specialized microbial strains are added in a microbial community to degrade certain compounds. Bioaugmentation can be used in conjunction with biostimulation and is especially efficient for waste water treatments.
Bioremediation employs a holistic approach and looks at the whole system and aims to restore the maximum health, diversity, and life to the contaminated area. Polluted environments often contain many different sorts of toxic substances. Plants, mushrooms, and microorganisms can be combined in many different ways to regenerate healthy, thriving life in both soil and water.
Bioremediation is therefore a treatment process that employs naturally occurring microorganisms to break down hazardous substances into less toxic or non-toxic substances. As the microorganisms degrade toxins into harmless products, mainly water and carbon dioxide, their population is reduced since they’ve used up their entire food source. Dead microorganisms or small populations in the absence of food pose no risks when the bioremediation is complete.
At FERRO Canada, we offer in-situ remediation techniques such as bioremediation to remove toxic substances from soil and water. Contact an environmental professional from FERRO today with any questions about our remediation solutions.