Pierce, Marcia M. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
Last reviewed:July 2019
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- History of bioremediation
- In situ bioremediation
- Bioaugmentation and biostimulation
- Limitations and practical difficulties
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The method of introducing microorganisms (native or genetically engineered) into a contaminated site to consume and break down environmental pollutants. Bioremediation is a form of biodegradation. Specifically, bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to treat dangerous chemicals found in the environment due to industrial waste by-products or accidental toxic waste release, including oil spills (Fig. 1) and hazardous chemical spills. Historically, bioremediation has been used for centuries to treat sewage wastewater. In modern times, scientists have employed bioremediation techniques to treat locations where toxic oil or chemicals have been released into the environment, either accidentally or through industrial processes. See also: Biodegradation; Environment; Environmental engineering; Environmental management; Environmental toxicology; Hazardous waste; Hazardous waste engineering; Industrial microbiology; Microbial ecology; Microbiology; Sewage; Sewage treatment; Water pollution
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