Bioremediation of Contaminants

  • Mona S. Zaki
  • Mostafa F. Abdel Zaher


The idea of bioremediation is with the nature itself. Owing to contamination in a particular region, some organisms may die; growth of few others might on the contaminants by metabolizing it. Bioremediation would thrive well on the contaminants by metabolizing it. Bioremediation would involve identification of such organisms and fostering their growth, naturally or by inoculation, so as to breakdown the contaminants into less harmful metabolites. This technology being cheaper and nature friendly is certainly a technology for the future. But, like other technologies, this too is not a panacea to all the maladies of environmental contaminants; toxic metals like cadmium obliterate complete flora and fauna of the contaminated area, and hence, it is not possible to use biological agents to treat them. Microbes require oxygen as an electron acceptor hence in aqueous phase; oxygen concentration below 1 mg/1 restricts the process of bioremediation.


  1. Adebusoye SA, Hori MO, Amund OO, Teniola OD, Olatope S (2007) Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in a polluted tropical stream. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 23(8):1149–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atlas RM (1995) Bioremediation of petroleum pollutants. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 35(1):317–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartha R, Bossert I (1984) The treatment and disposal of petroleum wastes. In: Atlas RM (ed) Petroleum microbiology. Macmillan, New York, pp 553–578Google Scholar
  4. Beal R, Betts WB (2000) Role of rhamnolipid biosurfactants in the uptake and mineralization of hexadecane in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Appl Microbiol 89(1):158–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boguslawska-Was E, Dabrowski W (2001) The seasonal variability of yeasts and yeast like organisms in water and bottom sediment of the szczecin lagoon. Int J Hyg Environ Health 203(5):451–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brooijmans R, Pastink M, Siezen R (2009) Hydrocarbon degrading bacteria: the oil-spill clean-up crew. Microb Biotechnol 2(6):587–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cameotra SS, Singh P (2008) Bioremediation of oil sludge using crude biosurfactants. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 62(3):274–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chaillan F, Le Fleche A, Bury E, Phantavong YH, Grimont P, Saliot A, Oudot J (2004) Identification and biodegradation potential of tropical aerobic hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms. Res Microbiol 155(7):887–895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheong HK, Ha M, Lee LS, Kwon H, Ha EH, Hong YC, Lee SM (2011) Hebei spirit oil spill exposure and subjective symptoms in residents participating in clean-up activities. Environ Health and Toxicol 26:e2011007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cooney JJ (1984) The fate of petroleum pollutants in fresh water ecosystems. In: Atlas RM (ed) Petroleum microbiology. Macmillan, New York, pp 399–434Google Scholar
  11. Das N, Chandran P (2011) Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants: an overview. Biotechnol Res Int 2011:941810, 13 pGoogle Scholar
  12. De Oliveira NC, Rodrigues AA, Alves MIR, Antoniosi Filho NR, Sadoyama G, Vieira JDG (2012) Endophytic bacteria with potential for bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons and derivatives. Afr J Biotechnol 71(72):2977–2984Google Scholar
  13. Floodgate G (1984) In: Atlas RM (ed) The fate of petroleum in marine ecosystems in petroleum microbiology. Macmillion, New York, pp 355–398Google Scholar
  14. Green C, Hoffnagle A (2004) Phytoremediation field studies database for chlorinated solvents, pesticides, explosives, and metals. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Hambrick GA, DeLaune RD, Patrick W (1980) Effect of estuarine sediment pH and oxidation-reduction potential on microbial hydrocarbon degradation. Appl Environ Microbiol 40(2):365–369Google Scholar
  16. Janjua N, Kasi P, Nawaz H, Farooqui S, Khuwaia U (2006) Acute health effects of the tasman spirit oil spill on residents of karachi. Pak BMC Public Health 6(1):84–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones DM, Douglas AG, Parkes RJ, Taylor J, Giger W, Schaffner C (1983) The recognition of biodegraded petroleum-derived aromatic hydrocarbons in recent marine sediments. Mar Pollut Bull 14(3):103–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kapley A, Purohit HJ, Chhatre S, Shanker R, Chakrabati T, Khanna P (1999) Osmotolerance and hydrocarbon degradation by a genetically engineered microbial consortium. Bioresour Technol 67(31):241–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kulichevskaya I, lekhina E, Borzenkov I, Zvyagintseva I, Belyaev S (1992) Oxidation of petroleum hydrocarbons by extremely halophilic archaebacteria. Microbiology 60(3):596–601Google Scholar
  20. Kuznetsov VD, Zaitseva TA, Vakulenko LV, Filippova SN (1992) Streptomyces albiaxalis sp. nov; a new petroleum hydrocarbon degrading species of thermos and halotolerant Streptomyces. Microbiology 61:62–67Google Scholar
  21. Leahy JG, Colwell RR (1990) Microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in the environment. Microbiol Rev 54(3):305–315PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Lyons RA, Temple J, Evans D, Fone DL, Palmer SR (1999) Acute health effects of the sea empress oil spill. J Epidemiol Community Health 53(5):306–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Patrick W Jr, DeLaune R (1977) Chemical and biological redox systems affecting nutrient availability in the coastal wetlands. Geosci Man 18(13):137–141Google Scholar
  24. Pornsunthorntawee O, Wongpanit P, Chavadej S, Abe M, Rujiravanit R (2008) Structural and physicochemical characterization of crude biosurfactant produced by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa SP4 isolated from petroleum- contaminated soil. Bioresour Technol 99(6):1589–1595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rahman K, Rahman TJ, Kourkoutas Y, Petsas I, Marchant R, Banat I (2003) Enhanced bioremediation of n-alkane in petroleum sludge using bacterial consortium amended with Rhamnolipid and micronutrients. Bioresour Technol 90(2):159–168Google Scholar
  26. Rhaman KSM, Rahman TJ, Banat IM, Lord R Street G (2007) Bioremediation of petroleum sludge using bacterial consortium with biosurfactant. In: Singh SN, Tripathi RD (Eds), Environmental bioremediation technologies. Springer, Berlin, pp 391–408Google Scholar
  27. Sarkar D, Ferguson M, Datta R, Birnbaum S (2005) Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soils: comparison of biosolids addition, carbon supplementation, and monitored natural attenuation. Environ Pollut 136(1):187–195Google Scholar
  28. Singh H (2006) Mycoremediation: fungal bioremediation. Wiley, New JerseyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vaccari DA, Strom PF, Alleman JE (2006) Environmental biology for engineers and scientists. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mona S. Zaki
    • 1
  • Mostafa F. Abdel Zaher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HydrobiologyNational Research CentreDokkiEgypt

Personalised recommendations