20 April 2013
Plant and fungi use in Bioremediation
In 1975, a military jet fuel leaked over 80,000 gallons of kerosene based jet-fuel into a lake in the suburbs of Charleston, SC. Many people tried to manage the oil spill but it was to no avail. It was almost impossible to stop all of the fuel from being soaked up by the very permeable sandy soil and reaching the ground water. Soon all of the ground water became contaminated and had many toxic chemicals in it. The ground water then began to reach all of the residential area and everyone in the surrounding area knew they were faced with a serious environmental hazard. It was almost impossible to remove all of the contaminated soil and ground water so the only other option was to introduce microorganisms and fungi that could consume all of the toxic chemicals and turn them into harmless carbon dioxide. Because of this introduction of the microorganisms it allowed for any further contamination to come to a complete halt. It even helped to remove 75% of the pollutants that harmed the soil and ground water. This introduction of microorganisms and fungi to an ecosystem or specific area is known as Bioremediation. What is Bioremediation? Bioremediation is a process in which indigenous or inoculated micro-organisms (e.g., fungi, bacteria, and other microbes) degrade (metabolize) organic contaminants found in soil and/or ground water, converting them to harmless end products. Nutrients, oxygen, or other amendments may be used to enhance bioremediation and contaminant desorption from subsurface materials. Bioremediation also allows polluted drinking water to become safe enough for humans and animals to drink. It allows for us [humans] to have a safer drinking source and not be too terribly concerned with the toxins that could be potentially be harmful. Bioremediation is usually classified under 2 types of conditions. Those being aerobic and anaerobic, Aerobic bioremediation...