by Staff Writers
Basque Region, Spain (SPX) Jun 14, 2016
The Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development Neiker-Tecnalia is currently exploring a strategy to remedy soils contaminated by organic compounds containing chlorine (organochlorine compounds).
The innovative process consists of combining the application of zero-iron nanoparticles with bioremediation techniques. The companies Ekotek and Dinam, the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Gaiker-IK4 are also participating in this project known as NANOBIOR.
Soils affected by organochlorine compounds are very difficult to decontaminate. Among these organochlorine compounds feature some insecticides mainly used to control insect pests, such as DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, endosulfan, hexachlorocyclohexane, toxaphene, chlordecone, mirex, etc.
It is a well-known fact that the use of many of these insecticides is currently banned owing to their environmental impact and the risk they pose for human health.
To degrade organochlorine compounds (organic compounds whose molecules contain chlorine atoms) present in the soil, the organisations participating in the project are proposing a strategy based on the application, initially, of zero-iron nanoparticles that help to eliminate the chlorine atoms in these compounds.
Once these atoms have been eliminated, the bioremediation is carried out (a process in which microorganisms, fungi, plants or enzymes derived from them are used to restore an environment altered by contaminants to its natural state).
The bioremediation process being developed by Neiker-Tecnalia comprises two main strategies: biostimulation and bioaugmentation. The first consists of stimulating the bacteria already present in the soil by adding nutrients, humidity, oxygen, etc.
Bioaugmentation is based on applying bacteria with the desired degrading capability to the soil. As part of this process, Neiker-Tecnalia collects samples of soils contaminated by organochlorine compounds and in the laboratory isolates the species of bacteria that display a greater capacity for degrading these contaminants.
Once the most interesting strains have been isolated, the quantity of these bacteria are then augmented in the laboratory and the soil needing to be decontaminated is then inoculated with them.
Bank of effective strains to combat organochlorines
The combining of the application of zero-iron nanoparticles and bioremediation constitutes a significant step forward in the matter of soil decontamination; it offers the added advantage of potentially being able to apply them in situ.
So this methodology, which is currently in the exploratory phase, could replace other processes such as the excavation of contaminated soils so that they can be contained and/or treated.
What is more, the combination of the two techniques makes it possible to reduce the decontamination times, which would take much longer if bioremediation is used on its own.
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|