Bioming, Biodegradation, and Bioremediation Microorganisms

Biomining

The term biomining is aimed at the process of utilizing microorganism services to mine certain metals from ore. Mining through the use of microorganisms is very good especially if the grade of the mined metal is of low quality so it is not economical if it is mined in the usual manner. In the United States it turns out that 10% of the country's copper needs are supplied through this biomining process.

Biodegradation

This term is more directed at the process of decomposition of materials by the activity of microorganisms. Examples of the decomposition of animal and plant remnants by microorganisms in such a way that they return to be mineral mineral constituents. The composting process (turning waste into compost) is an example of the utilization of the biodegradation process.

However, not all substances can be decomposed using the services of these microorganisms. If you look at plastics, rubber, and so on, can they be easily broken down? What happens if the garbage doesn't break down? Lately environmental pollution occurs because of the accumulation of pollutants in the environment.
However, not all substances can be decomposed using the services of these microorganisms. If you look at plastics, rubber, and so on, can they be easily broken down? What happens if the garbage doesn't break down? Lately environmental pollution occurs because of the accumulation of pollutants in the environment.
This accumulation can occur as a result of decreased catabolism of easily biodegradable organic molecules and the presence of recalcitrant xenobiotic substances. This phenomenon according to Gunalan (1993) can occur due to the following factors.
  1. failure of natural remodel microorganisms to develop into active populations;
  2. nutrient content needed by natural microorganisms in the environment is in a minimum state;
  3. limited oxygen or other electron receptors in meeting the minimum requirements for the continued metabolism of aerobic or anaerobic organic pollutant overhaul; or
  4. the inability of microorganisms that make up the organic pollutant as a source of metabolic energy.

Bioremediation

Bioremediation is the use of organisms to clean pollutants from the environment. In this process biotransformation or biodetoxification of toxic compounds becomes less toxic or non-toxic compounds.
The main processes in bioremediation are biodegradation, biotransformation, and biocatalyst. In bioremediation there are main factors that determine microorganisms, namely microorganism populations, nutrient concentrations, oxygen supply, temperature, and humidity. There are 3 types of bioremediation involving microorganisms, namely:
  • stimulates the growth of endogenic microorganisms (biostimulation),
  • adding microorganisms that have been adapted to the polluted area thereby increasing the ability of populations of endogenous microorganisms (bioaugmentation) in biotransformation, and
  • bioremediation without human intervention (intrinsic bioremediation).

Bioremediation based on location there are 2 types, namely:

  1. in situ bioremediation (the bioremediation process used is at the location of the waste site), and
  2. ex situ bioremediation (bioremediation is done by taking the waste and then treated in another place, then only returned to the place of origin).
The in situ bioremediation process in the surface layer is determined by bio-chemical and hydrogeological factors. Bioremediation can be done through several approaches, including utilizing existing natural microorganisms by improving nutrient conditions and electron acceptors of the microorganisms concerned.

Another approach is inoculation of polluted areas using inoculant pollutant microorganisms that have been isolated and bred in the laboratory. The role of microorganisms in treating waste has also been done. The research was conducted at the location where the pollution event occurred (in situ), as well as in the reactor (ex situ) with material taken from the pollution location, then processed in the reactor.
The ex situ method that people have done is Bourquin (1990) by taking contaminated material and then processing it in the reactor. Bourquin's research uses bioreactors to treat sludge or groundwater in North Dakota, United States (US) which is heavily polluted by 2,4-D and other substances caused by pesticide storage fires. In this research, Alcaligenes eutrophus, nitrogen, and phosphorus bacteria are inserted into the reactor to accelerate biodegradation of organic pollutants. During this study around 11,000 cubic meters of soil and other solid materials and 24 million liters of ground water could be removed, so that the bioremediated locations could be reused.

In situ bioremediation is done by stimulating the growth of pollutant processing microorganisms that already exist in the environment. An example is in situ bioremediation to tackle pollution in the Prince William Strait (Alaska, United States) due to the sinking of Exxon's tanker in 1989 (Gunalan, 1993).
 
In that process the pollution is overcome by increasing the growth and activity of catabolism of pollutants. The situation is obtained through the administration of oemophilic fertilizer in the form of microemulsion. The fertilizer contains urea, lauryl phosphate and oleic acid, respectively as a source of nitrogen, phosphate, and carbon. The results of this study indicate that within 10 days after treatment, oily and black sand and beach rocks turn white and free of oil.

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