Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bio-cleaning the toxic residues

21.11.2003


Enzymes, microbes and fungi are being brought into service to help clean up industrial and urban pollution, minesites, pesticide residues and chemically degraded agricultural areas.



CSIRO’s Dr John Oakeshott says that bioremediation of pesticides and other toxins has the potential to earn significant export dollars, as the work of Australian researchers finds overseas markets. It can also mean huge savings for Australian industry.

CSIRO is hosting an international Bioremediation Workshop in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday, with researchers from CSIR (India), and delegates from a number of scientific research institutions in Europe and Asia.


The workshop aims to develop research alliances with leading international research agencies.

"Clean-up of old industrial sites and even recent chemical spills can be extremely costly," says Dr Greg Davis of CSIRO Land and Water. "Bioremediation offers considerable savings and promotes cleaner natural processes.

"Natural rates of clean-up by microbes are sometimes adequate to reduce pollution levels, but in many cases the rates need to be accelerated to make the clean-up more rapid and less expensive - and to reduce the migration and risks of chemical pollutants in the short term," says Dr Davis.

"A big challenge is identifying microbes that have the right capability, and then scaling processes up from laboratory scale to field scale to show that the microbes can really do the job," he says. "The CSIRO team has done this research for a range of contaminants, including petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, nutrients, industrial solvents and metals.

"Sulphate reducing bacteria are also being developed that will play a critical role in the remediation of acid mine drainage, an area of great concern to the mining industry," says Dr Davis.

Dr Oakeshott of CSIRO Entomology says that four CSIRO Divisions have capabilities in bioremediation, and are looking at potential new industries based on the use of biological materials and processes.

"One innovative approach is the development of an enzyme-based process for the detoxification of residues in waste waters from agricultural production and processing industries and off the surfaces of commodities," he says.

Dr Oakeshott says that the CSIRO bioremediation team has strong research connections with The Australian National University, The University of California (Davis), Tampere University of Technology Finland, IACR Rothamstead, the University of the Philippines, as well as Orica Australia, BP International, Rio Tinto, the Natural Heritage Trust, Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL), and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural research (ACIAR).

More information from:

Dr Sid Jain, CSIRO Entomology, mobile: 0408 115 839
Dr John Oakeshott, CSIRO Entomology, 02-6246 4157
Dr Greg Davis, CSIRO Land and Water, 08-9333 6386, mobile: 0439 931 209
Dr Robyn Russell, CSIRO Entomology, 02-6246 4160
Linda Leavitt, CSIRO Entomology, 02-6246 4033

Nick Goldie | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=Prbioremedial

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water cooling for the Earth's crust

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nano-watch has steady hands

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Batteries with better performance and improved safety

23.11.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>