Select a technology category from the list below. Profiles of specific technologies can then be reviewed to obtain background information and details on applicability, limitations, performance, data requirements, cost, and status.
Access the following link to review a summary of applicable media and targeted contaminants of bioremediation technologies covered in this database.
Summary of Technologies
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Phytoremediation refers to the use of plants to remove pollutants from soil and groundwater, or to assist in the degradation of contaminants to a less toxic form. Some plants are able to extract and concentrate particular elements from the environment, thereby offering a permanent means of remediation. The plant tissue, which is rich in accumulated contaminants, can be harvested and safely processed. Remediation also occurs when bacteria on the roots of the plant degrade pollutant species, or when the roots draw contaminated ground moisture closer to the surface, exposing contaminant species to microbes in a higher oxygen-containing environment.
Bioaugmentation refers to the introduction of specially selected or genetically engineered strains of microbes to a contaminated site. If site assessments reveal that species of indigenous microorganisms are unable to degrade target contaminants, exogenous microorganisms with the required biochemical capabilities can be introduced to successfully degrade specific waste compounds.
Biostimulation refers to the addition of oxygen and/or inorganic nutrients to indigenous microbial populations in soils and groundwater. In situ or ex situ methods can be employed to stimulate biodegradation of contaminants.
Chemical oxidation of soils
In situ lagoon treatment
Bioreactors represent highly controlled methods of treating contaminated soils and groundwater. Because temperature, pH, nutrient levels, and agitation can be controlled in constructed batch- or continuously-fed reactors, microbial activity, and thus contaminant degradation, can be optimized.
Land-based treatment, or solid-phase remediation, of contaminated soil usually involves ex situ remediation methods. Excavated soil can be treated in piles or in constructed treatment cells.
White-rot fungus, phaneorochaete chrysosporium, can bind to, and in some instances, mineralize a wide array of organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the predominant conventional explosives TNT, RDX, and HMX. The lignin-degrading, or wood-rotting, enzymes produced by white-rot fungus has been reported to be the key to its degradation capabilities. Two different treatment configurations have been tested for white-rot fungus -- bioreactor and in situ systems.