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In situ groundwater and sediment bioremediation: Barriers and perspectives at European contaminated sites

This paper contains a critical examination of the current application of environmental biotechnologies in the field of bioremediation of contaminated groundwater and sediments. Based on analysis of conventional technologies applied in several European Countries and in the US, scientific, technical and administrative barriers and constraints which still need to be overcome for an improved exploitation of bioremediation are discussed. From this general survey, it is evident that in situ bioremediation is a highly promising and cost-effective technology for remediation of contaminated soil, groundwater and sediments. The wide metabolic diversity of microorganisms makes it applicable to an ever-increasing number of contaminants and contamination scenarios. On the other hand, in situ bioremediation is highly knowledge-intensive and its application requires a thorough understanding of the geochemistry, hydrogeology, microbiology and ecology of contaminated soils, groundwater and sediments, under both natural and engineered conditions. Hence, its potential still remains partially unexploited, largely because of a lack of general consensus and public concerns regarding the lack of effectiveness and control, poor reliability, and possible occurrence of side effects, for example accumulation of toxic metabolites and pathogens. Basic, applied and pre-normative research are all needed to overcome these barriers and make in situ bioremediation more reliable, robust and acceptable to the public, as well as economically more competitive. Research efforts should not be restricted to a deeper understanding of relevant microbial reactions, but also include their interactions with the large array of other relevant phenomena, as a function of the truly variable site-specific conditions. There is a need for a further development and application of advanced biomolecular tools for site investigation, as well as of advanced metabolic and kinetic modelling tools. These would allow a quicker evaluation of the bioremediation potential of a site, and in turn a preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility of the chosen bioprocess which could replace or at least reduce the need for time-consuming and expensive field tests. At the same time, field tests will probably remain unavoidable for a detailed design of full scale remedial actions and the above reported tools will in any event be useful for a better design and a more reliable operation

MM, VT, SR, FA and RV acknowledge the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 265946 (Minotaurus Project, www.minotaurus-project.eu). SP acknowledges the financial support of the Spanish Government (CTQ2011-23632, CONSOLIDERCSD2007-00055)

© New Biotechnology, 2015, vol. 32, núm. 1, p. 133-146

Elsevier

Author: Majone, Mauro
Verdini, Roberta
Aulenta, Federico
Rossetti, Simona
Tandoi, Valter
Kalogerakis, Nicolas
Agathos, Spiros
Puig Broch, Sebastià
Zanaroli, Giulio
Fava, Fabio
Date: 2015 January 25
Abstract: This paper contains a critical examination of the current application of environmental biotechnologies in the field of bioremediation of contaminated groundwater and sediments. Based on analysis of conventional technologies applied in several European Countries and in the US, scientific, technical and administrative barriers and constraints which still need to be overcome for an improved exploitation of bioremediation are discussed. From this general survey, it is evident that in situ bioremediation is a highly promising and cost-effective technology for remediation of contaminated soil, groundwater and sediments. The wide metabolic diversity of microorganisms makes it applicable to an ever-increasing number of contaminants and contamination scenarios. On the other hand, in situ bioremediation is highly knowledge-intensive and its application requires a thorough understanding of the geochemistry, hydrogeology, microbiology and ecology of contaminated soils, groundwater and sediments, under both natural and engineered conditions. Hence, its potential still remains partially unexploited, largely because of a lack of general consensus and public concerns regarding the lack of effectiveness and control, poor reliability, and possible occurrence of side effects, for example accumulation of toxic metabolites and pathogens. Basic, applied and pre-normative research are all needed to overcome these barriers and make in situ bioremediation more reliable, robust and acceptable to the public, as well as economically more competitive. Research efforts should not be restricted to a deeper understanding of relevant microbial reactions, but also include their interactions with the large array of other relevant phenomena, as a function of the truly variable site-specific conditions. There is a need for a further development and application of advanced biomolecular tools for site investigation, as well as of advanced metabolic and kinetic modelling tools. These would allow a quicker evaluation of the bioremediation potential of a site, and in turn a preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility of the chosen bioprocess which could replace or at least reduce the need for time-consuming and expensive field tests. At the same time, field tests will probably remain unavoidable for a detailed design of full scale remedial actions and the above reported tools will in any event be useful for a better design and a more reliable operation
MM, VT, SR, FA and RV acknowledge the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 265946 (Minotaurus Project, www.minotaurus-project.eu). SP acknowledges the financial support of the Spanish Government (CTQ2011-23632, CONSOLIDERCSD2007-00055)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1871-6784
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/11524
Language: eng
Publisher: Elsevier
Collection: MICINN/PN 2012-2014/CTQ2011-23632
MEC/PN 2007-2013/CSD2007-00055
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2014.02.011
Articles publicats (D-EQATA)
Is part of: © New Biotechnology, 2015, vol. 32, núm. 1, p. 133-146
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Aigües subterrànies -- Contaminació
Groundwater -- Pollution
Bioremediació
Bioremediation
Title: In situ groundwater and sediment bioremediation: Barriers and perspectives at European contaminated sites
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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