Biodegradation of Xenobiotics in Environment and Technosphere

  • Tom N. P. Bosma
  • Hauke Harms
  • Alexander J. B. Zehnder
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 2 / 2K)

Abstract

Microorganisms play an important role in the removal of synthetic organic compounds from the environment. This chapter gives an overview of the evolution of biodegradation pathways and describes the strategies that microorganisms have evolved to transform important molecular structures. The actual effectiveness of biodegradation in the environment is determined by the bioavailability of the compounds. As a general rule, one could state that the release rates of synthetic compounds should not exceed the environment’s ability to degrade them.

Keywords

Biodegradation Xenobiotics Pathways Bioavailability Technosphere Remediation Evolution Recalcitrance 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom N. P. Bosma
    • 1
  • Hauke Harms
    • 1
  • Alexander J. B. Zehnder
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science & TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland

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