Bioremediation: Contaminated Soil Restoration

Authored by: Sven Erik Jørgensen

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Restoration of contaminated soil is made possible by ecotechnological methods. Organic toxic substances can be removed by plants or by microbiological decomposition. It is possible in many cases to obtain a higher level of removal efficiency by the use of adapted microorganisms. The removal processes are dependent on the bioavailability of the toxic organic compound. The bioavailability is dependent on a number of factors such as water solubility, sorption to the soil of the compound, physical structure of the soil (pore size), and, as already mentioned, adaptation of the microorganisms to the toxic compounds. Heavy metals can be removed by plants that are better able to take up heavy metal the higher their protein content is. Models for predicting the uptake of heavy metals by plants have been developed.

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