Bioremediation of Heavy Metals -An Environmental Cleanup Technology

Authors: M. Poonkothai Poonkoahai,
Abstract: Release of toxic heavy metals as a result of industrial activities into the environment pose hazardous effects to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Bioremediation, a biological processes degrade, break down, transform, and/or essentially remove contaminants or impairments of quality from soil and water. It is a natural process which relies on bacteria, fungi and algae to alter the contaminants as these organisms carry out their normal functions. The organisms are capable of using chemical contaminants as an energy source, rendering the contaminants harmless or less toxic products for metabolic processes. Now-a-days many low cost biosorbents such as algae, fungi, bacteria and agricultural byproducts have been investigated for their sorption efficiency towards heavy metals. The paper summarizes the general processes of bioremediation in the environment, focusing on biodegradation of heavy metals.