Ecological remediation technologies utilising efficient microbial inoculants
The continuous increase of the production and use of chemical substances resulted numerous, severely contaminated areas all over the world. Considerable pollution is caused by various hydrocarbons posing both human health and environmental risk. Development of ecological bioremediation technologies exploiting the degradation activity of microorganisms has received increasing attention in risk reduction of these contaminated sites.
The aim of the research is to enhance the efficiency of biodegradation-based methods using microorganisms with specific degradation potential and enzymes isolated from these microorganisms.
Furthermore, our aim is to develop novel inoculants based on the metabolic pathways explored by metagenomic tools and specific enzyme systems involved in the degradation of hydrocarbons. We aim the production of the most stable and active forms of the enzymes, their multiplication, and then their efficient utilisation for bioremediation of contaminated sites in cooperation with the consortium. We focus primarily on such not readily biodegradable organic pollutants (e.g. aromatic hydrocarbons), which may severely affect the ecosystem once reaching the environment and which have a very slow degradation potential at the contaminated site, where the biological treatment had not offered so far a real alternative.
The enzyme –based technologies may have several advantages: the isolated enzymes are more specific than the bacterial cells, more mobile than the microorganisms and may be able to function efficiently even within a larger range of environmental parameters. We plan the development and substantiation of more efficient ecological treatment methods for risk reduction of not readily degradable hydrocarbon contaminated sites with the joint application of microbial inoculants and specific enzymes.
Mónika Molnár, Viktória Feigl