Bioremediation Francine Mendoza | Ina Wang | Silu Men

What is it?

The use of microbes such as bacteria and fungi to treat and restore environments such as soil or water that are contaminated with polluting agents.


  • Aerobic
  • Anaerobic
  • Denitrification
  • Fermentation
  • Iron III reduction
  • Manganese IV reduction
  • Sulfate reduction

Helpful Microbes

  • Pseudomonas putida - soil bacterium, bioremediates paint thinner
  • Alcanivorax borkumensis - BP oil spill
  • Decholormonas aromatica - oxidize aromatics
  • Deinococcus radiodurans - solvents and heavy metals
  • Methylibium petroleiphilum - methyltertbutylether (MTBE)

Why are they useful?

Microorganisms are useful for bioremediation because of their properties

  • Bacteria and archaeans (chemoheterotrophs) multiply quickly through binary fission, have varied metabolism, and use several different chemical reactions (especially inorganic ones)
  • Prokaryotes usually have a species that can perform the necessary reaction
  • Microorganisms metabolize pollutants to use them as energy sources, carbon sources, and electron acceptors for cellular respiration

How does it break down Oils/Waste?

  • Breaks down hydrocarbons (oxidation)
  • Number of microbes increases naturally
  • Organic fertilizer can speed up the process
  • Can be combined with physical/chemical procedures like scrubbers, detergents, or dispersants to increase effectiveness


Created with images by skeeze - "oil rig explosion fire disaster" • geralt - "koli bacteria escherichia coli bacteria" • etiennecoutu - "bp oil spill ad 1"

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