Bioremediation is a term which is used to refer to the use of organisms to metabolize pollutants. This process relies on living organisms to consume and then break down compounds rather than collecting the pollutant and storing it. This process results in turning the pollutants into natural or harmless substances. The organisms which facilitate this process are known as bioremediators.
Some of the prime bioremediators include fungi, bacteria and archaea. This basically does not mean that plants and animals cannot be used as bioremediators but this only means that microbes are much easier to use and are more suited to this kind of a task. To know more about bioremediation, you can go through the following given information.
Natural bioremediation has been occurring in the environment for millions of years. One of the examples of this kind of a process is the biodegradation of dead animals and dead vegetation. This process is a natural part of the sulfur, carbon and nitrogen cycles. In this process, the chemical energy which is present in the waste materials is used by the microorganisms to grow while they are in the process of converting hydrogen and organic carbon to water and carbon dioxide.
Another type of a bioremediation process is the managed bioremediation. One of the common examples of this kind of process is land farming. Even in petroleum companies, managed bioremediation is used. As a part of this process, the high molecular weight organic compounds are spread into soil and then tilled into the ground using a fertilizer.
Composting is yet another process which has been used as bioremediation for many different organic compounds. Even till date, it is widely employed to recycle nutrients in yard and garden waste. Finished compost can be employed as a soil conditioner.
It is a fact that utilizing composting technology to new bioremediation processes requires practice, patience and experiments. The biodegradation process must be effective within the boundary of existing environmental conditions. The various gases and odors which are thus produced through the process have to be strictly controlled.
In Situ Bioremediation
In situ processes are often recommended or used due to the fact that less materials have to be moved. These processes can be designed and performed either with or without plants. Plants are used in these process because they take up large quantities of water and this very fact helps to control contaminated water, like groundwater contaminant plume in soil.
At the same time, aerobic processes may occur in the unsaturated layer of soil which is known as the vadose zone and lies in the water table. The Oxygen tends to flow in the unsaturated zone through the process of diffusion through pores present in the soil. Infact there are certain plants which too have been known to provide pathways to move the oxygen into the soil. This can prove to be extremely important so as to increase the aerobic degradation of organic compounds.