Cooperative Research Center for Contamination

Salisbury South, Australia

Cooperative Research Center for Contamination

Salisbury South, Australia

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Megharaj M.,University of South Australia | Megharaj M.,Cooperative Research Center for Contamination | Ramakrishnan B.,University of South Australia | Ramakrishnan B.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2011

Due to human activities to a greater extent and natural processes to some extent, a large number of organic chemical substances such as petroleum hydrocarbons, halogenated and nitroaromatic compounds, phthalate esters, solvents and pesticides pollute the soil and aquatic environments. Remediation of these polluted sites following the conventional engineering approaches based on physicochemical methods is both technically and economically challenging. Bioremediation that involves the capabilities of microorganisms in the removal of pollutants is the most promising, relatively efficient and cost-effective technology. However, the current bioremediation approaches suffer from a number of limitations which include the poor capabilities of microbial communities in the field, lesser bioavailability of contaminants on spatial and temporal scales, and absence of bench-mark values for efficacy testing of bioremediation for their widespread application in the field. The restoration of all natural functions of some polluted soils remains impractical and, hence, the application of the principle of function-directed remediation may be sufficient to minimize the risks of persistence and spreading of pollutants. This review selectively examines and provides a critical view on the knowledge gaps and limitations in field application strategies, approaches such as composting, electrobioremediation and microbe-assisted phytoremediation, and the use of probes and assays for monitoring and testing the efficacy of bioremediation of polluted sites. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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