Environmental Biotechnology Anjala Durgapal Lecturer Department of Botany M. B. Govt. P. G. College, Haldwani (Nainital) Uttrakhand
Introduction Biotechnology is “ the integration of natural sciences and engineering in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services ” (EFB, 1989). Environmental Biotechnology is the application of these processes for the protection and restoration of the quality of our environment.
<ul><li>Bioremediation is the use of biological systems for the reduction of pollution from air, aquatic or terrestrial systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The process involves aerobic or anaerobic microorganisms that results in degraded products. </li></ul><ul><li>Bioremediation is used to reduce or remove hazardous waste which has already polluted the environment. </li></ul>Pollution (Air water or soil) Microorganisms Degraded product Eco-friendly (detoxification) Hazardous Bioremediation Tri or tera- chloro-ethylene Complete Incomplete Vinyl-chloride
Applications of Bioremediation <ul><li>Waste water and Industrial effluents </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking and process water </li></ul><ul><li>Soil and land treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Solid waste </li></ul>
Waste water and Industrial Effluents <ul><li>Removal of common pollutants from water before discharged into river or sea. </li></ul><ul><li>Elimination of phosphorus nitrogen, heavy metals and chlorinated compounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Sulfur reducing bacteria can be used to remove wastes containing sulfur. </li></ul>Bed containing waste material and microbes in suspension Bioreactor
Drinking and Process water <ul><li>Biotechnology for the reclamation and purification of waste water for re-use </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural regions of the world, animal wastes and excess fertilizers result in high level of nitrates in drinking water. </li></ul><ul><li>Biotechnology has provided successful methods by which these compounds can be removed from processed water before it is delivered to customers . </li></ul>
Air and Gases Bio-scrubber (Cell suspension) Bio-trickling filter (Microorganisms immobilized on an inert matrix) Pollutants Nitrogen SO 2 Flue gas (blast furnace) Styrene (waste gas of polystyrene (Bio-filter: Fungi) Purified gases
Soil and land treatment In-situ: Bio-augmentation [ Introduction of micro-organisms ] Bio-stimulation [ Ventilation and /or adding nutrient solutions ] Ex-situ: Removal of soil and ground water and treating it above the ground Phyto-remediation employs use of plants and bacteria Metals from contaminated soils and ground water. For e.g.. Rhizobacteria Bio-remediation of land [bio-restoration] is cheaper than physical methods with harmless end products.
Solid waste <ul><li>Composed of readily biodegradable organics </li></ul><ul><li>Bio-wastes can be converted to a valuable resource by composting or anaerobic digestion </li></ul><ul><li>Anerobic digesters permit the recovery of substantial amounts of high value bio-gas together with a high quality stable organic residue </li></ul><ul><li>The organic residue can be used as manure. </li></ul><ul><li>Recycling of solid waste can save enormous cost of incineration </li></ul>
Prevention Involves development of processes with reduced environmental impacts Biotechnological ways of prevention are- Process improvement: Use of enzymes Product innovation: Development of new products that have less impact on environment their predecessors for e.g. genetically improved plant varieties that resistant against insects/ diseases, thereby reducing the use of pesticides.
Detection and Monitoring <ul><li>Established measures include: </li></ul><ul><li>Counting the number of plants, animals and microbial species. </li></ul><ul><li>Biological detection methods </li></ul><ul><li>Biosensors and immunoassays </li></ul><ul><li>Detection and monitoring of microorganisms used for bioremediation. </li></ul><ul><li>Detection and monitoring of ecological effects </li></ul>Employs a range of biological methods to detect incidents of pollution and continuous monitoring of pollutants.
Genetic Engineering <ul><li>Involves the use of microorganisms genetically modified by recombinant DNA technology. </li></ul><ul><li>GE is a powerful tool in creating environment friendly alternatives for products and processes </li></ul><ul><li>For e.g. : </li></ul><ul><li>Production of enzymes </li></ul><ul><li>Amylose free potato </li></ul><ul><li>Indigo producing bacterium </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Concerns for new technologies released into the environment do exist. </li></ul><ul><li>New techniques under consideration make use of genetically engineered microorganisms designed to deal with specific tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a tremendous potential for biotechnology to contribute in the remediation and protection of the environment. </li></ul>