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Bioremediation Chapter 9. Biotechnology and the Environment  Environment – describes everything that surrounds a particular organism Other organisms.

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Presentation on theme: "Bioremediation Chapter 9. Biotechnology and the Environment  Environment – describes everything that surrounds a particular organism Other organisms."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bioremediation Chapter 9

2 Biotechnology and the Environment  Environment – describes everything that surrounds a particular organism Other organisms Soil, air, water Temperature, humidity, radiation

3  Environmental Biotechnology - the development, use and regulation of biological systems for remediation of contaminated environments (land, air, water), and for environment-friendly processes.  Bioremediation - the use of microorganisms to remedy environmental problems Biotechnology and the Environment

4  What are the events that triggered the interest in environmental biotechnology? Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring (DDT) Love Canal Burning of a River Exxon Valdez in 1989 Biotechnology and the Environment

5 zWhat do they all have in common? The advent of the Industrial Revolution increase in products and waste people moved to the city increase in human population Biotechnology and the Environment

6  Regulations were passed: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976) Must identify hazardous waste and establish standards for managing it properly Requires companies that store, treat or dispose to have permits stating how the wastes are to be managed Record of its travels: Chain of Custody EPA initiates the Superfund Program (1980) Counteract careless and negligent practices Environmental Genome Project Study and understand the impacts of environmental chemicals on human diseases Biotechnology and the Environment

7  Waste Solid: landfills, combustion-including waste-to energy plants, recovery slurries, composting Liquid: septic: sewage treatment, deep-well injection Gas: fossil fuels, chlorofluorocarbons Hazardous –anything that can explode, catch fire, release toxic fumes, and particles or cause corrosion Biotechnology and the Environment

8 Garbage Test  Banana Peel  Wood Scrap/Sawdust  Wax Paper  Styrofoam Cup  Tin Can  Aluminum Soda Can  Plastic Carton  Glass Bottles  0.5 Years  4 Years  5 Years  20 Years  100 Years  500 Years  >500 Years Biotechnology and the Environment

9 There is no waste in Nature:  From rocks and soil to plants and animals to air and water and back again: Recycled largely by Microbes

10 Biogeochemical Cycles are a major part of the recycling process  Carbon Cycle: The primary biogeochemical cycle organic cmpds  CO 2 and back Carbon Cycle  Nitrogen Cycle: proteins  amino acids  NH 3  NO 2 -  NO 3 -  NO 2 -  N 2 O  N 2  NH 3 etc _ Nitrogen Cycle  Sulfur Cycle: Just like the nitrogen cycle, numerous oxidation states. Modeled in the Winogradsky column Sulfur Cycle  Phosphorous Cycle: Doesn’t cycle between numerous oxidation states only soluble and insoluble form Phosphorous Cycle

11 Carbon Cycle CO 2 Organic compounds

12 Nitrogen Cycle N2N2 NO 3 - NO 2 - NH 3 Denitrification nitrobacter Nitrification nitrosomas Pseudomonas Bacillus Paracoccus leguminous decompositionFixation ammonification cyanobacteria

13 Sulfur Cycle H 2 SO 4 SO 2 Atmosphere Organic sulfur SSO 4 H 2 S

14 Phosphorus Cycle Sea simple Phosphates Phosphate rocks Phosphates too complex for plants to absorb from the soil Microbes Breakdown complex compounds

15  Scientists learn from nature in the 1980’s The concept of Gaia –the total world is a living organism and what nature makes nature can degrade (bioinfalibility); only man makes xenobiotic compounds Clean up pollution-short and long term solutions (cost, toxicity, time frame) Use compounds that are biodegradable Produce Energy and Materials in less destructive ways Monitor Environmental Health Increase Recovery of Minerals and Oil Biotechnology and the Environment

16  Bioremediation finds its place Companies begin to specialize in cleaning up toxic waste spills by using a mixture of bacteria and fungi because cleaning these spills usually requires the combined efforts of several strains. Biotechnologists begin engineering “super bugs” to clean up wastes. However, there are many microorganisms in nature that will degrade waste products. Biotechnology and the Environment

17 Bioremediation Basics  Naturally occurring marshes and wetlands have been doing the job!  What Needs to be Cleaned UP? Everything! How do pollutants enter the environment? Runoff, leachates, air SO How bioremediation is used depends on 1)what is contaminated? (locations) 2)on the types of chemicals that need to be cleaned up 3)the concentration of the contaminants (amount and duration)

18  Chemicals in the environment Sewage (by products of medicines and food we eat such as estrogen (birth control pills) and caffeine (coffee) Products around the house (perfumes, fertilizers, pesticides, medicines) Industrial Agricultural Bioremediation Basics


20  Fundamentals of Cleanup Reactions Microbes can convert many chemicals into harmless compounds HOW? Aerobic or anaerobically Both involve oxidation and reduction reactions

21 Bioremediation Basics  Fundamentals of Cleanup Reactions Oxidation and Reduction Reactions Oxidation involves the removal of one or more electrons Reduction involves the addition of one or more electrons Oxidizing agents gain electrons and reducing agents lose electrons The rxns are usually coupled and the paired rxns are known are redox reactions

22  Example: Na + Cl 2  NaCl 00+1 oxidized reduced Bioremediation Basics

23  Aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation Aerobic Oxygen is reduced to water and the organic molecules (e.g. petroleum, sugar) are oxidized Anaerobic An inorganic compound is reduced and the organic molecules are oxidized (e.g. nitrate is reduced and sugar is oxidized) NOTE: Many microbes can do both aerobic and anaerobic respiration; the process which produces the most ATP is used first!

24  The Players: Metabolizing Microbes Site usually contains a variety of microbes Closest to the contaminant: anaerobes Farthest away: aerobes The most common and effective bacteria are the indigenous microbes (e.g. Pseudomonas in soil) Fungus and algae are also present in the environment and do a good job of “cleaning up” chemicals (fungi do it better than bacteria) Bioremediation Basics

25  Bioremediation Genomics Programs Stimulating Bioremediation Add fertilizers (nutrient enrichment) to stimulate the growth of indigenous microorganisms Adding bacteria or fungus to assist indigenous microbes is known as bioaugumentation or seeding Bioremediation Basics

26  Phytomediation Utilizing plants to clean up chemicals Ex: cottonwoods, poplar, juniper trees, grasses, alfalfa Low cost, low maintenance and it adds beauty to the site Bioremediation Basics

27 Cleanup Sites and Strategies  Do the chemicals pose a fire or explosive hazard?  Do the chemicals pose a threat to human health including the health of clean-up workers? (what happened at Chernobyl to the workers?)  Was the chemical released into the environment through a single incident or was there long-term leakage from a storage container?  Where did the contamination occur?  Is the contaminated area at the surface of the soil? Below ground? Does it affect water?  How large is the contaminated area?

28 Cleanup Sites and Strategies  Soil Cleanup Either remove it (ex situ bioremediation) or in situ (in place) In place: If aerobic may require bioventing Most effective in sandy soils Removed: Slurry-phase, solid phase, composting, landfarming, biopiles

29 Cleanup Sites and Strategies  Bioremediation of Water Wastewater treatment

30 Cleanup Sites and Strategies  Bioremediation of Water Groundwater Cleanup

31 Environmental Diagnostics  A promising new area of research involves using living organisms to detect and assess harmful levels of toxic chemicals.

32 Daphnia magna Transparent Thorax and Abdomen Environmental Diagnostics

33 When healthy Daphnia are fed a sugar substrate (  - galactoside attached to a fluorescent marker), they metabolize the sugar and fluoresce under UV light. When Daphnia are stressed by toxins, they do not have the enzymatic ability to digest the sugar and therefore do not fluoresce under UV light. Environmental Diagnostics

34  Toxicity reduction involves adding chemicals to hazardous waste in order to diminish the toxicity. For example, if the toxicity results from heavy metals, EDTA will be added to the waste and the effluent will be tested again to determine if the toxicity has been acceptably reduced. EDTA chelates (binds to) metals, thereby making them unavailable to harm organisms in a particular body of water. Environmental Diagnostics

35  Petroleum eating bacteria Ananda Chakrabarty at General Electric  Heavy metals (bioaccumulation) Bacteria sequester heavy and radioactive metals  Biosensors lux genes Applying Genetically Engineered Strains to Clean Up the Enviroment

36  The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill In the end, the indigenous microbes did the best job  Oil Fields of Kuwait Poses a problem due to the environmental conditions Environmental Disasters: Case Studies in Bioremediation

37  Microbial genetics  New types of microbes (from the ocean etc)  Radioactive materials  DO A BETTER JOB OF DETERMINING RISK and ASSESSMENT OF EXISTING SITES Future Strategies and Challenges for Bioremediation

38  Biodegradation Wastewater treatment plants, organic farming  Bioremediation Environmental clean-up companies, labs developing super bugs  Biocatalysis Plastics, degradable and recyclable products  Other Mining companies, oil companies Careers in Environmental Biotech

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