Date- 9th August 2022
Timing- 4:00 PM
Language: English & Hindi
Validity Period: Lifetime
Improved Bioremediation of Oil Spills
Date- 9th August 2022
Timing- 4:00 PM
Bioremediation of oil spills
Bioremediation of petroleum contaminated environments is a process in which the biological pathways within microorganisms or plants are used to degrade or sequester toxic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other volatile organic compounds found within fossil fuels. Oil spills happen frequently at varying degrees along with all aspects of the petroleum supply chain, presenting a complex array of issues for both environmental and public health. While traditional cleanup methods such as chemical or manual containment and removal often result in rapid results, bioremediation is less labor-intensive, expensive, and averts chemical or mechanical damage. The efficiency and effectiveness of bioremediation efforts are based on maintaining ideal conditions, such as pH, RED-OX potential, temperature, moisture, oxygen abundance, nutrient availability, soil composition, and pollutant structure, for the desired organism or biological pathway to facilitate reactions. Three main types of bioremediation used for petroleum spills include microbial remediation, phytoremediation, and mycoremediation. Bioremediation has been implemented in various notable oil spills including the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident where the application of fertilizer on affected shoreline increased rates of biodegradation.
Petroleum contamination of both terrestrial and marine environments results from prospection, extraction, refinement, transport, and storage of oil. Oil spills have been a global issue since the emergence of the oil industry in the early 1900s. The risk of unintentional and intentional spillage has increased as the energy industry and global demand expand. Petroleum is a toxic mixture of organic compounds, trace amounts of heavy metals, and hydrocarbons including many persistent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Discharged into marine environments oil is particularly damaging due to rapid dispersal and the creation of secondary pollutants through photolysis. Petroleum bioaccumulation in terrestrial and marine food chains cause both acute and long term health effects. Exposure to oil damages critical functions within organisms including reproduction, regulation of physiological and chemical processes, and organ function. Large spills alter ecosystem dynamics leading to algae blooms and a mass die-off of marine life. It is estimated that over 1000 sea otters, along with many birds, died from the Exxon Valdez spill. Oil spill clean up efforts commonly employ multiple methods in tandem. Controlled burning and barriers were both used as manual remediation efforts following the Exxon Valdez incident. Chemical solvents and dispersants were briefly used by Exxon in water surrounding the Valdez although discontinued as they required specific conditions and contained carcinogenic compounds. Bioremediation techniques used in the Exxon Valdez spill included nitrogen and phosphorus seeding along coastline increasing available nutrients for indigenous petroleum degrading microorganisms doubling rates of decomposition. Across all remediation techniques less than ten percent of the oil released from Exxon Valdez tanker was recovered. Many genera of plant, microbes, and fungi have demonstrated oil remediating properties including Spartina, Haloscarcia, Rhizophora, Nocardioides, Dietzia, and Microbacterium.
Bioremediation refers to the use of specific microorganisms or plants to metabolize and remove harmful substances. These organisms are known for their biochemical and physical affinity to hydrocarbons among other pollutants. Various types of bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, and some species of plants are all able to break down specific toxic waste products into safer constituents. Bioremediation is classified by the organism responsible for remediation with three major subdivisions: microbial remediation, phytoremediation, and mycoremediation. In most cases, bioremediation works to either increase the numbers of naturally occurring microorganisms or add pollutant-specific microbes to the area. Bioremediation can involve using many varieties of microorganisms as well, either synergistically or independently of each other. The costs and environmental impacts of bioremediation are often negligible when compared to traditional manual or chemical remediation efforts.
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|Improved bioremediation of oil spills|
|Bioremediation of Oil Spills|
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