Bioremediation and Mitigation

  • Ralph J. Portier


The high costs involved with conventional remedial techniques and frequently, the liability associated with the use of such techniques, has encouraged industry to search for innovative remediation technologies. The use of innovative technologies that provide a cost-effective and permanent treatment method is gaining the attention of regulatory agencies, the public, and, most importantly, the industries responsible for cleanup. In order to address these needs, research organizations and engineering firms are testing various innovative technologies in the laboratories and in the field.


Petroleum Hydrocarbon Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Natural Attenuation Petroleum Waste Genetically Engineer Microorganism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Bioremediation can be defined as a process using a microbial community and/or the related enzymes to return the natural environment altered by contamination to its original condition. Bioremediation can also be considered an industry that uses these techniques to solve real-world problems. Bioremediation is an applied field of science that combines advanced biotechnology and engineering approaches with basic microbiology to solve complicated challenges in soil water and groundwater contamination [1].

Biodegradation/ biomineralization

The process in the carbon cycle of using a microbe/microbial community (bacteria, fungi, yeasts, actinomycetes) or plants to convert complex carbon-based chemicals (organic matter) to simpler structures and biomass. The complete conversion of said chemical to its mineral form, namely, biomass, water, and CO2 is called biomineralization. The process is described as aerobic if oxygen is required by the biological community and anaerobic if it is not required or present [1].


The effort to eliminate or reduce loss and/or impact to habitat, life, property, or natural resources. Hazard mitigation means any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards (Stafford Act 44: CFR 206: 401) [1, 2].

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Lipophilic, fused, aromatic rings typically found in compounds of oil, coal, tar deposits or residuals from burning any fossil fuel. Also known as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, several are considered to be potential human carcinogens by USEPA. Benzo(a)pyrene is considered a benchmark regulatory toxicant for bioremediation of most hydrocarbon-contaminated sites [1].

Sustainable remediation

Practices or multitasked approaches for restoring a site to its native state with a frugal use of available resources so as to benefit human health and the environment [1].


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Books and Reviews

  1. Atlas RM, Phlip J (eds) (2005) Bioremediation, applied microbial solutions for real-world environmental cleanup. ASM Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, School of the Coast & EnvironmentLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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