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 Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>