Biofilms: Applications inBioremediation

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    Bioremediation uses microorganisms toremove, detoxify, or immobilize pollutants, anddoes not require addition of harmful chemicals.Bioremediation is particularly suitable forlarge areas where contaminant concentrationsare relatively low and the hydrology of thesoil does not support an aggressive chemicalremediation strategy. In the last few years,researchers have described the mechanismsof bioremediation for numerous priority pollutants,including chlorinated hydrocarbons,polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals.However, most studies published to date havedealt with planktonic cultures grown undercontrolled laboratory conditions.Microorganisms in the environment occurmostly as biofilms, whose development is encouragedby the presence of solid surfaces and thelimited amounts of organic carbon. Therefore,optimization of bioremediation processes in thefield requires a thorough knowledge of biofilmstructure, dynamic, and interaction with pollutantsand other environmental factors.In this chapter, we describe the recentadvances in bioremediation, with particularregard to the role of microbial biofilms. Wediscuss emerging technologies, such as bioelectroremediationand microbially producedsurfactants. We also show how genetic engineeringtechnologies may be employed to improvebioremediation effectiveness, both in laboratoryand in field applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMicrobial Biofilms: Current Research and Applications
    Number of pages26
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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