. Bioremediation is a branch of biotechnology that employs the use of living organisms, like microbes and bacteria, in the removal of contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from soil, water, and other environments. Bioremediation may be used to clean up contaminated groundwater or environmental problems, such as oil spills.
Bioremediation relies on stimulating the growth of certain microbes that utilize contaminants like oil, solvents, and pesticides for sources of food and energy. These microbes convert contaminants into small amounts of water, as well as harmless gases like carbon dioxide.
Bioremediation requires a combination of the right temperature, nutrients, and foods. The absence of these elements may prolong the cleanup of contaminants. Conditions that are unfavorable for bioremediation may be improved by adding “amendments” to the environment, such as molasses, vegetable oil, or simple air. These amendments optimize conditions for microbes to flourish, thereby accelerating the completion of the bioremediation process.
Bioremediation offers numerous advantages over other cleanup methods. By relying solely on natural processes, it minimizes damage to ecosystems. Bioremediation often takes place underground, where amendments and microbes can be pumped in order to clean up contaminants in groundwater and soil. Consequently, bioremediation does not disrupt nearby communities as much as other cleanup methodologies.
The bioremediation process creates relatively few harmful byproducts (mainly due to the fact that contaminants and pollutants are converted into water and harmless gases like carbon dioxide). Finally, bioremediation is cheaper than most cleanup methods because it does not require substantial equipment or labor.