What Is the Km of Disappearase?

  • Ronald Unterman
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 41)


There are many reasons why the bioremediation of hazardous wastes holds great promise. (1) It is a technology that has already been demonstrated for easier targets, such as gasoline and simple pesticides. (2) Researchers have discovered many microorganisms in the last few years that are capable of degrading what were previously thought to be highly recalcitrant molecules. A good example of this is trichloroethylene (TCE), which only ten years ago was thought not to be biodegradable. In the intervening years, both anaerobic and aerobic biotransformations have been demonstrated encompassing a wide variety of biochemistries. These include aerobic microorganisms which degrade toluene, phenol, methane, ammonia and propane. Likewise, many groups have isolated and characterized polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-degrading microorganisms representing many microbial genera. (3) We now have available the tools of genetic engineering to manipulate the genetic material that encodes degradative enzymes and pathways and thereby create vastly superior microorganisms. Of course, there are regulatory and public concerns about the use and release of these microorganisms, but these will in time be resolved. (4) Where bioremediation is applicable, it is one of the most cost-effective approaches available. (5) Bioremediation of hazardous chemicals is a natural process essentially identical to the breakdown conversions that nature catalyzes continuously to recycle our planet’s carbon.


Hazardous Waste Degrading Microorganism Lower Molecular Weight Hydrocarbon Aerate Bioreactor Aroclor Mixture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Unterman
    • 1
  1. 1.Envirogen, Inc.Princeton Research CenterLawrencevilleUSA

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