Main content area

Overview of bioremediation with technology assessment and emphasis on fungal bioremediation of oil contaminated soils

Quintella, Cristina M., Mata, Ana M.T., Lima, Leandro C.P.
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.241 pp. 156-166
Protozoa, accidents, algae, bacteria, biodiesel, bioremediation, cellulose, databases, enzymes, free radicals, fungi, metals, oils, organic wastes, patents, polluted soils, pollution, polymers, sludge, China, United States
Environmental contamination is a problem that requires sustainable solutions. Bioremediation technologies have been developed in the last decades and are increasingly used to mitigate environmental accidents and systematic contaminations. A review of bioremediation technologies, based on published article and patent documents, is presented for different types of contaminated matrices, bioremediation agents and contaminants. The worldwide database of the European Patent Office was searched using radicals of keyword as well as the International Patent Classification (IPC) to identify patents in our areas of concern. Technological domains, annual filing volume, legal status, assignee countries and development collaborations are presented and examples are discussed. The total number of patents is compared with the total number of articles. A SWOT analysis for bioremediation technologies is presented. The technologies for water (53%), soils (36%), and sludges (11%) are growing yearly at nearly constant rates. The bioremediation agents are predominantly bacteria (57%), enzymes (19%), fungi (13%), algae (6%), plants (4%) and protozoa. The major contaminants are oils (38%), followed by metals (21%), organic waste (21%), polymers (10%), food (5%), cellulose (5%) and biodiesel. Most of the patents are generally originated from China and United States of America. The soils bioremediation technology of oil is centered on bacteria usage (about two thirds of the articles and patents), being fungi a technology with critical mass and high growth potential. A recent trend in oil bioremediation of soils is the combination of bioremediation agents (fungi and bacteria) in the same process, thus making the process more robust to environment changes.