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What is bioremediation?

Bioremediation is a method of using microorganisms to remove the environmental pollutants or prevent pollution. It is a biological treatment process to destroy or reduce the concentration of hazardous wastes from contaminated sites. Bioremediation is similar to other terms such as biotreatment, bioreclamation, and biorestoration etc.

Bioremediation largely depends on enzymatic activities of microbes as they have extraordinary metabolic diversity to catalyze the destruction of pollutants. The process ‘Bioremediation’ was devised by George M Robinson in 1960 for the removal of synthetic chemicals in wastewater.

Bioremediation is a good wastewater treatment strategy for some types of pollution. But it will not work for all. For instance, bioremediation may not provide a feasible study at sites with a high concentration of chemicals that are toxic to most microorganisms. These chemicals include metals such as cadmium or lead and salts such as sodium chloride.

Purposes of bioremediation:

  1. Removal of organic wastes by microbes for the healthy environment.
  2. To break down harmful chemicals and pollutants into less harmful chemical compounds
  3. To clean up oil spills and pollution from soil, groundwater, surface water and air.

Why is it important?

  1. The process is economical and safe to use.
  2. It is cost-effective, permanent solutions to clean up soils contaminated with xenobiotic compounds
  3. It is at least six times cheaper than incineration and three times cheaper than confinement.
  4. It is an eco-friendly system.

Advantages of bioremediation system:

  • It can be done on site
  • It causes minimum site disruption
  • It eliminates transportation costs and liabilities.
  • It also prevents long-term liabilities.
  • It uses biological systems, often less expensive.
  • This method can be coupled with other treatment techniques.

Disadvantages of bioremediation system:

  • Some chemical compounds are not biodegradable.
  • It requires an extensive monitoring system
  • Each contaminated site has specific treatment requirements
  • It creates the possibility of causing unknown toxic subproducts.
  • It calls for strong scientific support.


    Outlines of Bioremediation Process


About Md. Shafiul Islam

I have been working as an Assistant Professor since May 26, 2015.My research profile lies at the interface of biomaterial science, life sciences and engineering. I am particularly interested in the design of bionanocomposite materials for relevant clinical applications, e.g. in the context of fabricating and testing biocomposite materials to study the biocompatibility with human body to repair bone tissue. I joined as a lecturer at Noakahli Science and Technology University in May 26,2013. During my working as a Lecturer, I did research on waste water treatment. In connection to this, I applied nanotechnology to treat water as well as waste water. Prior to joining the Noakhali Science and Technology University , I joined as a Scientific Officer in Drug & Toxins Lab as well as Polymer Chemistry Lab at Bangladesh Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (BCSIR).Before doing scientific works, I did M.S. thesis work in the Institute of Polymer & Radiation Technology. I completed my undergraduate studies in Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering ( University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) and gained my M.S. in the same department, under the supervision of Professor Dr. Mohammed Mizanur Rahman (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh), where he investigated the effect of reinforcement of nano-materials into bio-polymer composite, morphology and the effect of bacteria in the bio-composite. . I achieved Dean's Award in recognition of my excellent academic and oerall performance in B.Sc. In Bangladesh,I was shortlisted for National Science & Technology (NST) Fellowship and was successful in securing funding from Ministry of Science & Technology, in collaboration with Professor Dr.Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, University of Dhaka, towards the manufacture of medical devices that are resistant to microbial colonization. I have authored 6 research papers and 1 conference paper (h-index: 2).

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