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A process that uses microorganisms, plants, or microbial or plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants in the soil and other environments.

Bioremediation techniques includes in situ techniques (which treat polluted sites directly) and ex situ techniques (which are applied to excavated materials.) In both cases, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and pH buffers are added to enhance the growth and metabolism of the microorganisms.

Specialized microbial cultures are sometimes added (biostimulation).

Bioremediation is frequently employed together with other technologies such as phytoremediation, bioventing, bioattenuation, biosparging, composting (biopiles and windrows), and landfarming. Also, other remediation techniques include thermal desorption, vitrification, air stripping, bioleaching, rhizofiltration, and soil washing.

Similar approaches can also be used to treat wastes including wastewater, industrial waste and solid waste.


Microbiology Society website