Microorganisms can be used to degrade waste pollutants in bio-augmentation process. Bio- augmentation is a sustainable approach to pollutant remediation. Bio-augmentation is a mimic of natural process, it uses less energy, it releases less air pollutant and it helps to destroy the contaminants permanently (Environmental Expert, 2009). Effectiveness and affordability of bio augmentation, a powerful remediation measure, has been proved in the past few decades.
Pre-adapted native microbes or genetically modified microorganisms have been used in bio augmentation for pollution biodegradation (Nasseri et al., 2010). Bacterial species such as Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, Sphingobium, Alcaligens, Achromobacter, Rhodococcus, Mycobacterium, Bacillus and Fungal species such as Absidia, Achremonium, Aspergillus, Verticillium, Pencillium and Mucor have been applied to degrade pollutants (Gentry et al., 2004; Mrozik and Piotrowska-Seget, 2009).
Biodegradation of compounds such as nitrophenols, chlorinated solvents, methyl tert-butyl ether, oil, pentachlorophenol, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides such as atrazine, dicamba and carbofuran has been carried out with microorganisms induced bio-augmentation (Gentry et al., 2004). Effective bio augmentation technologies include cell culture, activated soil bio-augmentation, gene bio augmentation and phytoremediation (Gentry et al., 2004).
Factors such as contaminant concentrations, site hydro geochemical conditions, and competition with indigenous microorganisms, in situ growth, transport and decay of microbes affect the amount of microorganisms needed for remediation which ultimately affects the cost and performance associated with bio augmentation (Steffan et al., 2010). Temperature, moisture, pH, organic matter, aeration, nutrient content and soil type are determining factors for bio augmentation (Gentry et al., 2004; Mrozik and Piotrowska-Seget, 2009).
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Environmental Expert (2009) Bio-augmentation is a cost effective and sustainable remediation alternative [Online] Available at http://www.environmental-expert.com [Accessed on 23 October 2014].
Gentry, T.J., Rensing, C., Pepper, I.L. (2004) New Approaches for Bio-augmentation as a Remediation technology. Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Vol 34, pp. 447-494.
Mrozik, A. and Piotrowska-Seget, Z. (2009) Bio-augmentation as a Strategy for Cleaning up Soils Contaminated with Aromatic Compounds. Microbiological Research, Vol 165(5), pp. 363-375.
Nasseri, S., Kalantary, R.R., Nourieh, N., Naddafi, K., Mahvi, A.H. and Baradaran, N. (2010) Influence of Bio-augmentation in Biodegradation of PAHs-contaminated soil in Bio-Slurry Phase Reactor. Iran Journal of Environmental Health, Science, Engineering, Vol 7(3), p. 199-208.
Steffan, R., Schaefer, C. and Lippincott, D. (2010) Bio-augmentation for Groundwater Remediation [Online] Available at http://www.clu-in.org [Accessed on 12 October 2014].