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Bioaugmentation and biostimulation strategies to improve the effectiveness of bioremediation processes

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Abstract

Bioremediation, involving bioaugmentation and/or biostimulation, being an economical and eco-friendly approach, has emerged as the most advantageous soil and water clean-up technique for contaminated sites containing heavy metals and/or organic pollutants. Addition of pre-grown microbial cultures to enhance the degradation of unwanted compounds (bioaugmentation) and/or injection of nutrients and other supplementary components to the native microbial population to induce propagation at a hastened rate (biostimulation), are the most common approaches for in situ bioremediation of accidental spills and chronically contaminated sites worldwide. However, many factors like strain selection, microbial ecology, type of contaminant, environmental constraints, as well as procedures of culture introduction, may lead to their failure. These drawbacks, along with fragmented literature, have opened a gap between laboratory trials and on-field application. The present review discusses the effectiveness as well as the limitations of bioaugmentation and biostimulation processes. A summary of experimental studies both in confined systems under controlled conditions and of real case studies in the field is presented. A comparative account between the two techniques and also the current scenario worldwide for in situ biotreatment using bioaugmentation and biostimulation, are addressed.

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Acknowledgments

M. Tyagi and C.C.C.R. de Carvalho would like to thank the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, for financial support (Ph.D. grant SFRH/BD/43930/2008 and contract under Programme Ciência 2007, respectively).

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Correspondence to Carla C. C. R. de Carvalho.

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Tyagi, M., da Fonseca, M.M.R. & de Carvalho, C.C.C.R. Bioaugmentation and biostimulation strategies to improve the effectiveness of bioremediation processes. Biodegradation 22, 231–241 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10532-010-9394-4

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