Today Bioremediation has gained unparalleled importance in scientific fields. The term bioremediation very effectively describes its most important characteristic which is the use of living microorganisms for the improvement of the environment and maintaining a homeostasis in the ecosystem. It is used to clean up a vast range of hazardous waste from industries, farms, cities etc. These days the amount of pollutants and the variety of pollutants in the environment are increasing exponentially. This is why more and more efforts are being made in terms of the use of microorganisms for the conservation and protection of the biosphere. It works on the principle that microorganisms can transform the hazardous toxic wastes into less toxic or non toxic substances which may not cause any harm to the living and non living surroundings. The microorganisms act against the contaminants only when they have access to a variety of materials—compounds to help them generate energy and nutrients to build more cells.
Advantages of Bioremediation
a. Unlike many other remedial processes which use various chemical as well as/ or physical techniques, bioremediation is a natural phenomenon. It occurs spontaneously wherever the correct microorganisms are found in close vicinity of the hazardous wastes. Also this process generally requires continuous stimulus and it continues dynamically unless all the hazardous substances get depleted.
b. It is an environment friendly phenomenon in all the respects. It continues to occur without causing any sort of imbalance in the surrounding environment and does not interfere with other ecosystems. The process of bioremediation generally does not produce any harmful or toxic by products which can pollute or harm or affect the environment in any possible manner.
c. Bioremediation process can occur in a very vast range of habitats and surroundings. This is primarily due to the fact that microorganisms are ubiquitous in distribution. They are found from normal to the most extreme environments.
d. Bioremediation has proved to be efficient at places which are otherwise inaccessible without excavation. Studies have shown that there is presence of microorganisms (mainly bacteria) as deep as 1900 feet inside the rocks and 8500 feet below the sea level (Oskin and Becky 2013). The heavy metals and radioactive substances present as deep as these can only be remediated or transformed with the help of microorganisms into less harmful or non harmful products. These depths are otherwise inaccessible without excavation or mining practices which are again harmful processes from environmental respect.
e. Bioremediation helps in efficiently reducing pollution and thereby protecting the environment from hazardous and toxic substances. As bioremediation uses living organisms so the chances of further damage to the environment become minimal which is not the case when chemical or physical methods are used for the removal of hazardous wastes.