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Chapter: Environmental Biotechnology: Contaminated Land and Bioremediation

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Process selection and integration - Contaminated Land and Bioremediation

However, when complex mixtures of compounds are required to be treated, combining a series of different individual process stages within a series of interlinked bioreactors, may often be a more appropriate and effective response.

Process selection and integration

However, when complex mixtures of compounds are required to be treated, combining a series of different individual process stages within a series of interlinked bioreactors, may often be a more appropriate and effective response. Dependent on the specific type of contaminants, this may necessitate a sequence of both aerobic and anaerobic procedures, or even one which combines biologi-cal and chemical steps to achieve the optimum remediation system. Under such circumstances, clearly each bioreactor features conditions designed to optimise specific biological processes and degrade particular contaminants.

 It should be clear from the preceding discussions that the actual process of bioremediation employed will depend on a number of factors, amongst others relating to the site itself, the local area, economic instruments, reasons for reme-diation and the benefits and limitations of the actual technologies. Hence, it should not be difficult to see that for any given contamination event, there may be more than one possible individual approach and, indeed, as described earlier, the potential will often exist for using integrated combinations of technologies to maximise the effectiveness of the overall response. In this way, though dependent on many external variables, a mix and match assemblage of techniques may rep-resent the individual best practicable environmental option (BEPO). The merging of an ex situ treatment, like, for example, soil washing via a slurry reactor, to offer an intensive and immediate lessening of pollution effect, with a slower insitu process to polish the site to a final level, has much to recommend it, bothenvironmentally and commercially. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to conclude that the prevalence and relative importance of such approaches will be likely to grow over the coming years.


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