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BIOREMEDIATION - A WALK THROUGH (#biotechnology)(#biochemistry)(#environmentalscience)(#ipumusings)



BIOREMEDIATION - A WALK THROUGH (#biotechnology)(#biochemistry)(#environmentalscience)(#ipumusings)

Bioremediation is a term made by combining two words, i.e., biology which means natural science that scrutinizes living organisms and remediation which means the action of healing something, specifically, preventing environmental destruction. It is any process that purifies an environment which is deteriorated by contaminants with the use of microorganisms. The method has been used for numerous goals over time. One of the significant uses was the desalination of agricultural fields.

George M. Robinson is recognized with being the first human being to apply bioremediation to resolve a major environmental dilemma. In the late 1960s, Robinson examined various cultures of microorganisms in his garage with the help of an engineer who was specialized in the petroleum industry. In 1968, he triumphantly used his microbial mixture over a commercial oil spill and made the very first use of bioremediation.

Bioremediation is a sort of biotechnology that employs microbes and ecological means to tackle with several environmental difficulties. The most frequent application of bioremediation is to metabolically break down or eliminate poisonous chemicals ere getting discharged in the environment. This process takes benefit of the fact that certain microbes can utilize deadly elements as metabolic substrates, in the manner converting them into simpler, less deadly elements. [1]

Bioremediation is a comparably modern and actively growing technology.

Let’s learn more about it!

BIOREMEDIATION - A WALK THROUGH (#biotechnology)(#biochemistry)(#environmentalscience)(#ipumusings)


It is used in degenerating the impurities present in saturated soils and vadose zones. It is a preferred method to cleanse the contaminated environment. It is a cheaper process that employs non-toxic microorganisms to degenerate the chemicals. It involves inciting the microbial population by serving them nutrients and oxygen to improve their metabolic activity or by injecting certain engineered microbial organisms to the site of contamination. [2]

1. BIOVENTING : It is a process in which natural in situ decomposition of contaminants takes place. It supplies oxygen and nutrients to the soil via wells. Bioventing supplies low airflow rates to provide enough oxygen to support microbial action in the unsaturated zone. It takes advantage of the original microbes and can be practiced on any element that can be aerobically decomposed. It is one of the most basic approaches in soil. [3]

2. BIOAUGMENTATION : This process is practiced to decompose distinct soil and groundwater contaminants. It includes adding cultured microbial organisms into the contaminated site to biodegrade the contaminants. It is also used to treat sewage systems. [4]

3. PHYTOREMEDIATION: Phytoremediation is a process in which green plants are used for eradicating environmental contaminants from air, water, or land. It is an economical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly strategy that has various benefits especially in the cleanup of large polluted areas. Phytostabilization, Phytoextraction, RizofiltrationPhytotransformation, Phytodegradation, Phytostimulation, and Phytovolatilisation are some of the different approaches in Phytoremediation. [5]


This is a process that requires the removal of contaminated soil or pumping of groundwater to expedite microbial degeneration. It can be facilitated by various methods. Ex-situ bioremediation can utilize bioreactors and supplemented nutrients to promote the breakdown of environmental contaminants.

1. BIOPILE : It works as a union of land farming and composting. This process is helpful in constraining the physical losses of pollutants present in the soil.

2. COMPOSTING: It is a method that combines the contaminated elements present in the soil with non-dangerous organic matter. Agriculture wastes and composts are some of its examples.

3. FARMING: Farming or Land farming is a process in which the contaminated soil is unearthed and scattered over a piece of land. Then the soil is tilled regularly to oxygenate it. Indigenous microbial organisms promote this remediation. It can also lessen the supervision and subsistence expenses.

Lastly, let's look at some pros and cons of bioremediation. 

1. The waste products are fully eliminated in the process. 1. Several chemicals do not undergo bioremediation.
2. The biological methods used are much more economical than any other waste-removal technologies. 2. Bioremediation takes a longer period than any other treatment methods.
3. In general, being a natural process, the public acknowledge the concept of bioremediation. 3. There are chances that the level of toxicity of the resultant compound is more than that of the parent compound.
4. Bioremediation can successfully work with other treatment processes. 4. The by-products may spread toxicity to the environment. [6]


[1] n.d. Bioremediation | Encyclopedia.Com . Available at: weblink

[2] Surekah, & Duhan, Joginder & Saharan, Pooja. (2012). Biotechnology: its role in environment protection. Available at : weblink

[3] 2020. Bioventing . Available at: weblink

[4] REGENESIS Remediation Solutions. n.d. Bioaugmentation | REGENESIS .

Available at: weblink.

[5] Dharajiya, D., 2017. Phytoremediation: A Technology To Clean Environments .

Available at: weblink

[6] Watson, John. (1996). 1996 Critical Review Discussion: Physical/chemical treatment of organically contaminated soils and sediments. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. 46. 993-994. Available at: weblink

About the Author

Palak Jain, pursuing Biochemical Engineering from University of Chemical Technology (GGSIPU). She wants to explore her career in biotechnology, and environmental science.  

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