The increasing concentration of organic and inorganic pollutants could effectively be controlled by a combination of bioremediation and nanotechnology, according to the latest research in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
Study: Nanobioremediation: A sustainable approach for the removal of toxic pollutants from the environment. Image Credit: TR STOK/Shutterstock.com
Increase in Environmental Pollutants Concentration
It is estimated that over 10 million tons of unprocessed harmful chemicals are discharged into the atmosphere by companies. Pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, azo dyes, and toxic substances are only a few of the contaminants that have polluted the ecosystem.
Their numbers and lifespan have skyrocketed in recent years, causing problems for the ecosystem, climate, and public health. To overcome these concerns, sustainable environmental management tools and techniques must be applied.
Bioremediation and Nanotechnology
Technological breakthroughs have been developed in recent years to enhance the efficiency of pollution removal. One such option is bioremediation, which provides a contemporary and efficient method of cleaning up toxins in a variety of ecosystems while also allowing for relatively scaled administration that may be applied internationally.
Bioremediation is a method that uses environmental changes to encourage the development of microorganisms and break down the target pollutants in a polluted medium such as water, soil, and subterranean material.
Nanotechnology developments and the use of nanoparticles may provide more feasible strategies for expanding bioremediation well beyond its existing limits. These techniques, in general, provide a broader variety of options for controlling pollutants in aquifers and wastewater, as well as heavy metal and hydrocarbon polluted sediments.
Importance of Nanoparticles and Nanotechnology in Bioremediation
For pollutants removal, new nanoparticles with enhanced performance are required. When compared to other possibilities, nanoparticles are outstanding accumulators and catalyst supports owing to their bigger specialist domains, reduced temperature alteration, configurable pore diameter, reduced inter-particle dispersion thickness, a significant number of related adsorbent surfaces, and diversified surface composition.
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The microbial nanotechnology synthesis is an excellent choice since it is cost-effective, ecologically stable, beneficial, and does not necessitate the use of hazardous chemicals. The latest development of sustainable nanoparticles from microbes and other life form extracts has paved the way for environmentally viable bioremediation of pollutants.
Organic and inorganic pollutants endanger both human health and the environment. Nano-bioremediation has been investigated as a method of eliminating toxins from the environment with reduced toxicity.
Limitations and Challenges
After being applied to the atmosphere, nanoparticles (NPs) can penetrate crops through their leaves and roots, engaging with the vegetation and inducing changes in their morphogenic capabilities. These connections can have both good and detrimental effects on plant health and output.
It has been demonstrated that a larger quantity of TiO2 NPs has a detrimental influence on wheat growth. Zinc NPs were similarly harmful and lowered cucumber output. Aluminum oxide and zinc nanoparticles were harmful to green peas.
It has been shown that the cytotoxicity of NPs is mostly due to the generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species), which causes toxic effects by disrupting electron mobility in the mitochondria and chloroplasts. NPs have been made from a variety of metals, including copper, nickel, and titanium. These metal and metal oxide nanoparticles can be discharged into the atmosphere, where they can enter the food chain and disrupt the ecological equilibrium.
Bioremediation-based techniques have been proven to be successful, environmentally beneficial, low-cost, and self-sustaining. The use of microbial populations has been acknowledged as an efficient strategy for remediating contaminated environments while having little effect on the environmental systems.
Bioremediation and nanoparticles (NPs) can be effective methods for removing contaminants from the ecosystem. To eliminate organic pollutants, NPs can be used directly or by adsorption.
They aid bioremediation by promoting microorganism growth or immobilizing pollutants through the synthesis of microbial enzymes. The biogenic production of nanoparticles using fungus is a green technique with enormous potential for harmful chemical cleanup.
Use of Algae in Nanoparticle-based Bioremediation
Phyto-nanotechnology has lately emerged as a viable method for the bioremediation of harmful substances in the environment. This is a commonly utilized ecologically safe and energy-efficient strategy that primarily includes the manufacture of nanoparticles utilizing benign ingredients that pose no environmental damage or public health problems.
Microalgae are thought to be resilient nano-factories since they can produce NPs of various metals. Fabrication can be accomplished utilizing either dead or live dry biomass. The creation of algal nanoparticles requires the least amount of time among all biosynthesizing techniques.
The removal of hazardous contaminants from the environment by bioremediation is a serious problem. Nanoparticles are emerging as a viable answer for environmentally friendly techniques. As a result, there is an urgent need to create nanoparticles based on successful approaches for commercial application in contaminant cleanup in polluted areas.
Bhatt, P. et al., 2021. Nanobioremediation: A sustainable approach for the removal of toxic pollutants from the environment. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 21. 128033 Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389421030028?via%3Dihub