What is bioremediation?

Looking for efficient yet sustainable ways to free the environment from contaminants is a challenging task. While chemical or physical methods of cleaning up polluted environments are mostly successful, they cannot get rid of contaminants completely. Bioremediation is a natural alternative for safely removing most harmful contaminants in the land and sea.
The process uses naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, which can either be enhanced or stimulated to interact with the contaminants. According to Springer Link, bioremediation, unlike chemical or physical processes, can result in the permanent removal of pollutants.

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How bioremediation works

Organic contaminants, while harmful to humans and wildlife, can provide a valuable energy source for microorganisms in the soil. With the right conditions, the organisms will interact with the contaminants, degrading them to a state that is less toxic and/or more stable.

The downside to bioremediation is that it is not suitable for all types of contaminants, and can even create other, dangerous by-products. Additionally, the process is very slow. To manage these drawbacks, land remediation experts such as https://soilfix.co.uk will assess whether bioremediation is an appropriate solution, and then identify which method of bioremediation will be used to maximise efficiency.

Methods of bioremediation

The land remediation company may consider one or more of many methods of bioremediation, some of which include:

Biofiltration – where microbes are grown on peat, soil or compost, and then surrounded with a biofilm of water. This method is used in the control of aerosols and odours in livestock, the treatment of drinking water and the improvement of indoor air quality.

Biostimulation – where the environment containing the microorganisms is altered to stimulate their bioremediation capabilities. This may include adding nutrients or electron acceptors such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc.

Bioaugmentation – where a specific strain of microbe or group of microbe types are selected for their greater efficiency, and then introduced to the contaminated environment. Bioaugmentation is often used alongside biostimulation to maximise efficiency in restoring contaminated land.

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Once the land remediation company has identified the best methods, it can design and construct tailor-made systems for the job.

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