New Technique to Decontaminate Polluted Sites

New Technique to Decontaminate Polluted Sites

The technique combines use of nanoparticles with bioremediation

SPAIN – Organochlorine compounds are organic compounds containing chlorine atoms in their molecules. They are used as pesticides, such as DDT, Andrin, dieldrin, endosulfan or chlordecone among others. Soils affected by these compounds are very difficult to decontaminate. Its use is prohibited due to environmental impact and risk to human health posed.

Researchers at Neiker-Tecnalia Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development are currently investigating a strategy for remediation of soils contaminated with these compounds. The innovative technique is to combine the application of zero iron nanoparticles bioremediation techniques.

To degrade organochlorine compounds in soil, experts participating in the NANOBIOR project, they have developed a strategy based on the combined application nanoparticles and bioremediation. The first step is the use of zero-valent iron nanoparticles that help eliminate chlorine atoms of these compounds. Once these atoms have been removed, it proceeds to bioremediation, a process where it uses microorganisms.

The bioremediation process consists of two main strategies: biostimulation and bioaugmentation. The first is to stimulate the bacteria in the soil by providing nutrients, moisture, oxygen, etc. Bioaugmentation is based on applying bacteria to soil with the capacity for desired degradation.

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