OVERVIEW FROM WIKIPEDIA:
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.Pollution can take the form of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or energy (such as radioactivity, heat, sound, or light). Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Although environmental pollution can be caused by natural events, the word pollution generally implies that the contaminants have an anthropogenic source – that is, a source created by human activities. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed nine million people worldwide (one in six deaths). This remained unchanged in 2019, with little real progress against pollution being identifiable. Air pollution accounted for 3⁄4 of these earlier deaths.
Major forms of pollution include air pollution, light pollution, litter, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, and water pollution.
Bioremediation broadly refers to any process wherein a biological system (typically bacteria, microalgae, fungi, and plants), living or dead, is employed for removing environmental pollutants from air, water, soil, flue gasses, industrial effluents etc., in natural or artificial settings. The natural ability of organisms to adsorb, accumulate, and degrade common and emerging pollutants has attracted the use of biological resources in treatment of contaminated environment. In comparison to conventional physicochemical treatment methods bioremediation may offer considerable advantages as it aims to be sustainable, eco-friendly, cheap, and scalable. Most bioremediation is inadvertent, involving native organisms. Research on bioremediation is heavily focused on stimulating the process by inoculation of a polluted site with organisms or supplying nutrients to promote the growth. In principle, bioremediation could be used to reduce the impact of byproducts created from anthropogenic activities, such as industrialization and agricultural processes. Bioremediation could prove less expensive and more sustainable than other remediation alternatives.
UNICEF, power producers, bulk water suppliers and local governments are early adopters of low cost bioremediation, such as aerobic bacteria tablets which are simply dropped into water.
Organic pollutants are generally more susceptible to biodegradation than heavy metals. Typical bioremediations involves oxidations. Oxidations enhance the water-solubility of organic compounds and their susceptibility to further degradation by further oxidation and hydrolysis. Ultimately biodegradation converts hydrocarbons to carbon dioxideand water. For heavy metals, bioremediation offers few solutions. Metal-containing pollutant can be removed or reduced with varying bioremediation techniques. The main challenge to bioremediations is rate: the processes are slow.
Bioremediation techniques can be classified as (i) in situ techniques, which treats polluted sites directly, vs (ii) ex situ techniques which are applied to excavated materials. In both these approaches, additional nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and pH buffers are added to enhance the growth and metabolism of the microorganisms. In some cases, specialized microbial cultures are added (biostimulation). Some examples of bioremediation related technologies are phytoremediation, bioventing, bioattenuation, biosparging, composting (biopiles and windrows), and landfarming. Other remediation techniques include thermal desorption, vitrification, air stripping, bioleaching, rhizofiltration, and soil washing. Biological treatment, bioremediation, is a similar approach used to treat wastes including wastewater, industrial waste and solid waste. The end goal of bioremediation is to remove or reduce harmful compounds to improve soil and water quality.