ANAEROBIC BIOREMEDIATION–AN UNTAPPED POTENTIAL
Recently there has been considerable interest in employing bioremediation technologies for treatment of wastes and for reclamation and restoration of contaminated ecosystems. In this technology, microorganisms or their constituents such as enzymes are used to degrade or transform the wastes. Though, contaminated ecosystems lack oxygen and favor the growth and activity of anaerobic bacteria, most of the bioremediation technology employs aerobic microorganisms. However, treatment of industrial wastewaters is the only area in which anaerobic technology is widely employed presently. Recent advances in molecular ecology helps us in understanding the diversity of anaerobic bacteria, their processes and their important role in global cycle of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur. In addition, different anaerobic bacterial groups possess the ability to use different types of electron acceptors such as nitrate, sulfate, and carbonate for degradation of organic contaminants or for biotransformation heavy metals. Still, the potential of anaerobic bacteria for bioremediation of various contaminants is not capitalized. This paper deals with application of anaerobic bioremediation for biorestoration of land and water ecosystems contaminated with hydrocarbons, chlorinated compounds and heavy metals
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