Bioremediation of inorganic contaminants
Keywords:Inorganic contaminants, Wastes, Bioremediation
Bioremediation is usually associated with the remediation of organic contaminants. However, there is an increasing amount of information on the application of biological systems to bioremediation of soils, sediments and water contaminated with inorganic compounds which includes metals, radionuclides and anions (e.g. nitrates and cyanides). These compounds can be toxic both to humans and to the organisms used to remediate these toxic components. In contrast to organic compounds, most inorganic contaminants cannot be degraded, but must be remediated by altering their transport properties. Immobilization, mobilization or transformation of inorganic contaminants via bioaccumulation, biosorption, oxidation and reduction, methylation, demethylation, complexation, ligand degradation and phytoremediation are some of the different processes applied in this type of byoremediation. This paper describes these processes.
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