Biodegradation and Bioremediation

Authored by: Owen P. Ward , Ajay Singh

Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138333918
eBook ISBN: 9780429445651
Adobe ISBN:


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Biodegradation processes mediate recycling of organic materials in the environment. In bioremediation processes, micro-organisms and plants participate in the biodegradation and removal of hazardous contaminants to restore the polluted environment. Although micro-organisms thrive in aqueous environments, the majority of organic chemicals and environmental contaminants are hydrophobic and sorb to soil particles. To access these contaminants, microbes may interact directly with the contaminant or soil particulates or both or secrete biosurfactants to mobilize the contaminant into the aqueous phase. A variety of in situ and ex situ bioremediation strategies are employed, aimed at promoting biodegradation of the chemical pollutants present in the contaminated medium.

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