Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Novel approach for bio-treatment of waste

At a time when environmental concerns are pressing, science appears ready to address bioremediation issues associated with soil and water contamination.
Novel approach for bio-treatment of waste
Spanish research efforts have resulted in a new system for the decontamination of polluted soil and water. The system involves the bioremediation of affected areas using microbial biofilm technologies. Bioremediation is defined as the use of biotechnology for the treatment of waste. This approach could combat contaminants of different nature such as hydrocarbons, nitrate, nitrite, organic matter and heavy metals. The main principle behind bioremediation is the application of microorganisms for the breakdown of pollutants and their removal from the target area.

This novel system employs submerged filters for biodenitrification or carbon removal. These filters contain microorganisms with specific profiles, allowing them to uptake and degrade hydrocarbons. Even though a variety of biofilm reactors have been used for bioremediation purposes, this present development implies that submerged filters are ideally suited for freshwater biological treatment.

The low costs associated with these biological methods of decontamination render them attractive from a financial as well as an environmental viewpoint. This technology could be of particular interest to potential industrial partners and research organisations able to develop it further. A laboratory prototype is already available at this stage and could be used to demonstrate the efficiency of the described technology.
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