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Biodegradation. 2012 Nov;23(6):917-26. doi: 10.1007/s10532-012-9576-3. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Emerging technologies in bioremediation: constraints and opportunities.

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Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, NSW, Australia.


Intensive industrialisation, inadequate disposal, large-scale manufacturing activities and leaks of organic compounds have resulted in long-term persistent sources of contamination of soil and groundwater. This is a major environmental, policy and health issue because of adverse effects of contaminants on humans and ecosystems. Current technologies for remediation of contaminated sites include chemical and physical remediation, incineration and bioremediation. With recent advancements, bioremediation offers an environmentally friendly, economically viable and socially acceptable option to remove contaminants from the environment. Three main approaches of bioremediation include use of microbes, plants and enzymatic remediation. All three approaches have been used with some success but are limited by various confounding factors. In this paper, we provide a brief overview on the approaches, their limitations and highlights emerging technologies that have potential to revolutionise the enzymatic and plant-based bioremediation approaches.

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