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Bioremediation

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The term bioremediation It has its origin in the English word bioremediation. He concept allows reference to the use of microorganisms to treat a substance or to recover environmental conditions.

As the word suggests, bioremediation appeals to living organisms to remedy a fact. The bacteria , the mushrooms and even certain plants they can absorb and degrade polluting elements, thus cleaning the soil, water or the environment in general. Bioremediation helps nature overcome an imbalance and thus recover an ecosystem that has experienced some kind of damage from pollution.

The purpose of bioremediation, therefore, is reverse a situation in which the presence of contaminants has altered the natural features of the environment .

With the use of microorganisms it is possible to combat the contamination which at first is inaccessible: for example, a oil spill which entered the ground and could affect the groundwater. Digging, in this case, would be more expensive and complex than appealing to bioremediation. This is just one of its advantages, among which we can highlight its viability, its simplicity and the contribution of nutrients through composting processes.

In a spill of this type you can add fertilizers with sulfates or nitrates that promote the reproduction of bacteria. These microorganisms help to break down the Petroleum raw.

Bioremediation processes can be monitored through the control of the pH , he redox potential , the level of oxygen wave temperature , among other various parameters. The specialty that drives these processes and exercises supervision is the biotechnology (the area of ​​technology that uses biological resources).

Regarding the use of the engineering Genetics in this context, its importance is very great since it gives rise to the creation of organisms specifically designed to implement bioremediation in a well defined environment and objective.

A very common example can be seen in the modification that scientists made to the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans, one of the organisms most capable of resisting radiation, so that it could consume the mercury and toluene ions present in nuclear waste of high levels of radiation.

One of the best known bioremediation methods is called micremediation . The term was announced by the American mycologist and writer Paul E. Stamets , and consists of the use of fungi with the purpose of carrying out the decontamination of a I usually . In more technical terms, microremediation consists in using fungal mycelia, that is, the mass composed of filament networks that are part of the fungal vegetative body.

The use of fungi in bioremediation is very logical, since one of its most important roles in ecosystems is decomposition, which mycelia carry out. They secrete acids and enzymes extracellular that collaborate with the degradation of cellulose and lignin (plants have these two components in their cell wall, and are the most important).

Cellulose and lignin have in their composition extensive chains of hydrogen and carbon, with strong bonds that make wood and plant fibers especially robust. Their structures Chemicals resemble those of various pollutants today, and just one of the main points of the microremediation is to find the most suitable fungal strain for the treatment of different types of pollutants, a principle that applies to bioremediation in general and, why not, to medicine: each disease or disorder must be treated with the appropriate medication.

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