|Microorganisms are ideally suited to the task of contaminant
destruction because they possess enzymes that allow them to
use contaminants as food.
Microorganisms gain energy by catalyzing energy producing
reactions that involve breaking chemical bonds and transferring
electrons away from the contaminant. This transfer of electrons,
commonly referred to as oxidation-reduction, is responsible for the
breakdown of contaminants. If it were not for this naturally occurring
process, the earth would literally be buried in waste.
Bioaugmentation is defined as the practice of enhancing the
performance of indigenous bacterial populations through the
addition of commercially prepared bacterial strains with specific
catabolic activities. Novozymes Biologicals is a leader in the
isolation and selection of novel microbial consortia. Drawing on
microorganisms from the environment, from a stock culture
collection of over 25,000 characterized strains, and from soil
samples numbering in the millions, Novozymes has resources
unmatched in the industry.
One of the most prolific uses of microorganisms can be found in
biological wastewater treatment. These systems rely on the ability
of microbes to degrade organic material. This process takes place
in what is known as the biomass. It is here that microbes come in
contact with organic material under properly controlled conditions.
The genetic capabilities of the microbes that comprise the biomass
control the ability of the system to breakdown specific components
of the waste.
Bioaugmentation can enhance the ability of an indigenous biomass
to degrade waste. Novozymes develops products by selecting
strains with demonstrated catabolic pathways for the degradation of
specific waste components. These strains are then acclimated and
synergistically blended to achieve targeted effects in wastewater
In a similar manner microbes can be used for the clean-up and
remediation of a variety of surfaces such as soil, asphalt, concrete,
wood, metal, fiberglass, porcelain, and equipment that have come
in contact with hydrocarbons such as oil, gasoline and grease.
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