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The ability of microorganisms to transform pollutants is well documented. However, in many cases microbial communities with the desired capabilities may develop too slowly or may not be sustained. In these cases, manipulation of the microbial composition may be advantageous. Bioremediation has been established as an environmental friendly treatment capable of improving the removal of the contaminants in natural and environmentally systems by circumventing insufficient response time and initiating the removal with a minimal lag phase. Bioremediation exploits the microbial ability to transform contaminants into less harmful compounds. Bioremediation techniques encompass natural attenuation, biostimulation, and bioaugmentation. While natural attenuation and biostimulation by indigenous microorganisms might work for certain applications, bioaugmentation using microbial populations with specialized capabilities for degrading the contaminants is often advantageous, and will be the focus of this chapter.
Bioaugmentation has been widely applied to assist bioremediation, but it has also frequently been associated with significant challenges and limited success, which is most likely due to lack of information leading to inappropriate application strategies.
KeywordsBioaugmentation Delivery limitations Immobilization of bioaugmentation strains Survival of bioaugmentation strains
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