Bioremediation is processed in which organisms are used to clean the contamination. Bioremediation can be categorized as in situ and ex-situ. The use of bioremediation technology depends on various factors like the site, population, indigenous microorganism, level of toxicity and many more such factors.
According to Merriam Webster, bioremediation can be defined as, “the treatment of pollutants or waste (as in an oil spill, contaminated groundwater, or an industrial process) by the use of microorganisms (such as bacteria) that break down the undesirable substances.”
Bioremediation is a method in which natural microorganism or purposely introduced microorganisms are set into the contaminated body, to breakdown pollutants and clean the polluted area.
This process can be used to remove pollutants from soil, water bodies and subsurface material. This process is less expensive than other remediation process.
How does this process work:
At any polluted sites, there are the presence of natural organic material, bacteria, fungi, Protista’s, etc. which breakdown the pollutants. But due to some external factors like oil spills, plastic deposits, and others, some of the microbes are destroyed and very few survive. These few left microbes are insufficient to clean the body pollutant. With the help of bioremediation, these microbes are provided with facilities to survive, multiple and grow. This facility includes providing fertilizers, another catalyst, oxygen, and other support system.
The significance of bioremediation:
Bioremediation is important for two reasons:
- No chemical use – Use of bioremediation process involves the pure natural method of cleaning contamination. Earlier for cleaning waste, many chemicals were used, those chemicals unknowing caused more damage to soil, water, and air. Bioremediation process does not include any chemical to do its works.
- Helps in recycling: After the use bioremediation process, there is certain waste formed. Those waste are non-toxic. Being non-toxic or less poisonous, the waste so formed can be easily recycled. This is not possible in case of chemical remediation.
- Types of Bioremediation:
Application of bioremediation process can be categorized into two methods; in situ and ex-situ.
- In situ:
In this category, the polluted water or soil is treated in its original place only. The meaning of the word in situ is, in its original place.” This word originated in LATIN. This process is lest expensive. In this process, the waste and debris formed are also in less amount.
- Ex situ:
In this process, the contaminated body is removed from its original location and placed in better and fit the location. Ex situ means “out the original location.” This is a bit costlier process than in situ, as involving the step of excavation of polluted body. The merits of this method are that it is faster and clears large waste as compared to that of in situ
Factors that help bioremediation process:
There are many factors that act as a catalyst to work out bioremediation process, they are:
nutrients like nitrites, phosphates, etc.,