Applied Bioremediation – Active and Passive Approaches
Patil Yogesh and Rao Prakash (ed). (Oct 2013) Applied Bioremediation – Active and Passive Approaches. Intech Open Science Online Publishers, Croatia (Indexed in Scirus, WorldCat, Google Scholar; ISBN: 978-953-51-1200-6).
406 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 5, 2014
With the advancement of science and technology, wide range of toxic and hazardous (T&H) chemicals are being synthesized and produced by man on grand scale for its use in agricultural, commercial, household and industrial systems. Consequently, these entities emanate large volume of wastes containing T&H chemicals ranging from heavy metals to hydrocarbons, pesticides, phenols, PAHs, cyanides, PCBs, etc. Most of these chemicals are recalcitrant and xenobiotic in nature. If managed inappropriately in terms of handling, storage, transport, treatment and disposal, T&H wastes can get mobilized and carried into the food web as a result of leaching from waste dumps, contaminated soils and waters. This might led to deleterious irreversible, incapacitating and intangible impact on the overall human health, environment and ecology. This has originated to challenging problems confronting the present day so called ‘technological society’. Since waste is inevitable, it has to be managed in precise manner before it is discharged or recycled to safeguard the environment. Conventionally, numerous physical-chemical processes are being adopted for the treatment industrial effluents and contaminated soil/land systems. Although efficient these methods are beset with several problems like high capital investment, high operational cost, reduced efficiency of treatment in the presence of complex chemical matrix, high sludge production, handling, processing and disposal, requirement of special equipment’s, need of human skills, risk to human health and highly energy intensive. Such processes are therefore always on the back foot as far its use in most of the Asian countries is concerned. Thus, there is a big technological breach, which needs to be bridged immediately. Furthermore, environmental regulations in most countries demand strict actions against haphazard waste disposal.
Biological treatment technologies (bioremediation), in the recent times, are gaining immense credibility in the field of waste management. It is known that microorganisms (both prokaryotes and eukaryotes) in nature have immense potential to interact, utilize, degrade and detoxify range of pollutants/substances and therefore being explored by the researchers worldwide. They offer several advantages over conventional methods in terms of cost effectiveness, efficiency, low sludge production and also provides eco-compatible means of treating industrial effluents and reclaiming land. Other than microorganisms, plants and waste biomass from different sources also play crucial role in the management of waste. Biomass of all types are known for their capability of interacting and confronting with pollutants in both active (live) and passive (dead) way; thereby offering numerous opportunities of exploring them for environmental clean-up. Biomass, whether dead or alive, differ in their intrinsic capabilities and the mechanism of pollutant removal. They can degrade and remove variety of organic pollutants from waste by utilizing it as a suitable growth substrate. Biomass interaction with inorganics (especially heavy metals) can be based on the localization site of pollutant such as extracellular, exocellular and intracellular. Biomass, especially microorganisms are capable of mobilizing, precipitating, reducing, transforming, accumulating, coordinating, exchanging and adsorbing the inorganic pollutants and form complexes depending upon the nature of pollutant. Biomass surfaces are also usually charged. Functional groups like carboxyl, hydroxyl, phosphoryl and sulphahydryl, membrane proteins, lipids and other cell wall components are responsible for adsorption of diverse contaminants. At times, biodegradation using live microorganisms/biomass are subject to toxicity of T&H pollutants, which is completely dependent on the nature and concentration of pollutant in the given system. In such cases, employing passive biomass for the removal of contaminants from water and soil environment may be of choice.
In the 21st century, the entire world is witnessing a paradigm shift in the overall waste management practices, which is rapidly changing its face and orientation. Waste is no longer considered as waste but is recognized as a valuable ‘Resource’. This lost resource could potentially be recovered from the wastes using suitable strategies using bioremediation technologies. One such novel strategy could be the use of combined active-passive biomass for the development of integrated bioremediation technology, which in the editor's and co-editor's opinion is desperate need of the hour. Application of such concepts in the modern day bioremediation processes can certainly lead to overall resource conservation and sustainable economic development. In view of this, the present edited book on bioremediation will certainly add to the advancement of knowledge in the broad field of sustainable development and in particular in the area of industrial pollution management and land/soil reclamation. This will further help the profitability of business community at large. Moreover, this book will also provide the required valuable resource and stimulus to the researchers worldwide. Bioremediation technologies require interdisciplinary knowledge of science and management, involving microbiology, chemistry, hydrogeology, engineering, plant sciences, geology and ecology, economics, operations management, etc. In the past biological remediation technologies have been successfully used to treat polluted soils, oily sludge’s, cyanide, heavy metals, nitriles, groundwater contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides and other chemicals and have been implemented at a relatively low cost.
This edited book on “Applied Bioremediation - Active and Passive Approaches” consists of diverse mix of interesting chapters that focusses on use of active as well as passive biomass for the development of bioremediation technologies for the management of industrial effluents and contaminated land. Topics in the book include - bioremediation of chlorobenzoic acids, resource recovery from industrial waste by passive bioremediation approach, bioremediation of olive mill wastewater, nutrients and organic matter removal by constructed wetlands, bioremediation of oil polluted site, hexavalent chromium removal by natural biomass, bioremediation of radiotoxic elements, rhizoremediation, biodegradation of profenofos, removal of acrylamide by microorganisms, bioremediation of thiocyanate, purification and characterization of a thermostable enzymes, persistent organics, scientific swift in bioremediation, in situ bioaugmentation process, and biosorbents for heavy metal removal from wastes.
Research scientists and experts in the area of chemistry, biotechnology, bioremediation, environmental microbiology, energy and environmental management from diverse institutions and universities world across have contributed to this book. This book on “Applied Bioremediation - Active and Passive Approaches” should prove to be useful to the graduate and postgraduate students, research scholars, professors, scientists and bioremediation professionals in the diverse areas of life sciences like biotechnology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and soil and environmental sciences and management. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation and support of all the contributing authors as well as the officials of InTech Publishing Group for encouragement and help throughout the preparation of this volume.
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