Biofilms in Bioremediation

Jordan, Ryan ryan_j at erc.montana.edu
Tue Jan 21 10:20:12 EST 1997

While folks are signing up for this new group, I'll give you all an

I'd like to open discussion about a particular application of biofim
research: soil bioremediation. In particular, cells attached to soil
mineral/organic surfaces often depend on the release of hydrophobic
contaminants from the solid (adsorbed) phase. As a result, cells are
often in a "starved" condition and biotransformation rates are fairly
slow. Technologies to speed up the process have focused on increasing
contaminant solubilities/desorption rates, including surfactant addition
and other "soil washing" methods.

Question is: what opportunities are out there to *manipulate the cells*
in such a way that biotransformation rates can be enhanced by increasing
bioavailability? One obvious manipulation is the stimulation of
biosurfactant production.

Will the successful application of remediation technologies in the
future  depend on the ability to *manipulate the organism* in-situ in a
manner that will minimize cleanup costs (i.e., by eliminating the
addition of expensive chemicals) and be less-intrusive? Or should we not
try to focus on *fiddling with bug behavior* and keep traveling down the
same road, searching for new and more efficient ways to *increase
contaminant solubility*?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


Ryan N. Jordan
Center for Biofilm Engineering
Montana State University-Bozeman
Ryan N. Jordan
ryan_j at erc.montana.edu

The Center for Biofilm Engineering (Montana State University)
409 Cobleigh Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
406-994-1844 or 406-994-4770 or FAX 406-994-6098

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