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Can areas where accidental contamination with petroleum products be efficiently bioremediated and which bacteria are best suited for the process?

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Extended Essay Subject: Biology Topic: Bioremediation of areas accidentally contaminated with petroleum products. Research Question: Can areas where accidental contamination with petroleum products be efficiently bioremediated and which bacteria are best suited for the process? INTRODUCTION The advent of heavy industrialization and manufacture of various chemicals has brought forth the curse of an environment polluted with potentially hazardous and toxic organic compounds. Slowly the influx of such compounds in soil, air and water is increasingly resulting into the deterioration of ecosystem. If these are not checked and controlled the entire ecosystem will be seriously damaged. The microorganisms, more specifically bacteria, are the workhorses of biotechnology and today they seem to provide many solutions to the abundant man made problems. Biotechnological answers are emerging rapidly. Today we see numerous uses of biotechnology, the possibility of treating almost all human disorders with the use of stem cells, the possibility of increasing our food production manifold and of course the ability to use a naturally occurring process, speed it up and clean the environment we ourselves have polluted. This technology is bioremediation. Bioremediation: "Remediate" means to solve a problem, and "bio-remediate" means to use biological organisms to solve an environmental problem such as contaminated soil or groundwater. In the process of bioremediation Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, cyanobacteria and enzymes produced by these microorganisms transform a toxic compound to benign or less toxic, or preferably to CO2 and water by a mechanism called "mineralisation". ...read more.


25ml of Sluphuric acid Silver Sulphate catalyst mixture was then slowly added to the flask. The flask was connected with a reflux condenser and then transferred to heating mental. The contents were refluxed for two hrs. After two hours the contents were thoroughly cooled and diluted with water. Residual dichromate was titrated using ferroin indicator against 0.1N Ammonium ferrous sulphate solution to a wine red colour end point. COD values were calculated using flowing formula. (B-S) xN of Ferrous Ammonium Sulphate x 8000 COD in PPM= ml of Sample. B- Blank reading. S- Sample Reading The degradation of paraffin was judged by using growth at the junction of two liquids. Degradation of Phenol in Water. In a 1 liter working capacity reactor with aeration arrangement 900ml of water was added. Phenol solution was added so as to get a concentration of 1000ppm. Water with phenol was supplemented with urea nitrogen, buffer, calcium, Magnesium and Ferric ions. pH was maintained in neutral range. 100ml of the developed bacterial culture was added to the reactor. Reactor was then aerated continuously. Samples were collected at 24hrs interval until 96hrs. Samples were analysed for COD and residual phenols by methods as mentioned above. Table-2 shows the results. The studies were quite interesting and I wanted to carry out more work, however the experimental work requires lot of expertise and at my level it is difficult for me to do the same. ...read more.


CONCLUSIONS. In conclusion, in situ bioremediation is the application of biological treatment to the clean up of contaminants in soil, groundwater, and surface waters. During the process, microorganisms, usually bacteria and fungi, feed on the contaminants.They derive nutrition and energy for growth and reproduction. The wastes are used up or converted into a less harmful form, such as water and carbon dioxide. * Microorganisms created by microbiologists have the potential of helping cleanse the environment of men made pollutants. * The usefulness of such organisms in pollution abatement depends on compatibility with their environment. * The experimental work carried out and the results as observed showed the potential of Bacteria in clean up process. * The biodegradation of pollutants should be using Naturally occurring microorganisms. Hence one should utilize natural organisms to meet growing demands for cleaning operation in the context of an increasing environmental alert society. * The starting point for biotechnological developments is the search for and discovery of exploitable biological phenomena ; the effective planning and optimization of search & discovery programs is just as crucial as any other phase of biological operation. * We rely on microorganisms to biodegrade our waste materials. we have came to assume that anything thrown out in the environment will disappear to an incredibly large extent it is true. Microorganisms have a vast capacity for rapid degrading organic materials & thus can be relied upon to act as biological incinerators. Swapneil R. Parikh. Extended Essay. Page 1 of 9 ...read more.

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