Special Issue "Microbial and Plant-Assisted Bioremediation for Eco-Sustainable Environment"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sebastien Farnaud
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Interests: bioremediation; bioleaching; recycling; e-waste; biotechnology; metals
Dr. Eva Pakostova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Interests: bioleaching of low-grade ores and electronic waste; passive and active bioremediation of mine wastes; biogeochemical cycling of iron and sulphur
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthropogenic activities such as industrialisation, urbanisation, transportation, solid waste generation, and excess wastewater generation are affecting the natural equilibrium of our environment. This ever-increasing human activity results in the contamination of soils and water sources with heavy metals, organic pollutants, and other contaminants. Not only do these chemicals adversely affect the contaminated sites, but by accumulating in agricultural soils, they enter the food chain and/or water bodies, thus interfering with ecosystems and jeopardise biodiversity and human health.

In recent years, public awareness about pollution and long-term sustainability has greatly increased. A lot of effort has been made by legislative institutions, non-profit organisations, and industry in order to control water and soil pollution. Although preventing the formation of polluted sites is generally considered the most suitable, it is often not easy to achieve, and in such instances, the contaminated soil and water need to be treated.

There are various approaches available, which can be defined based on two different criteria: (i) chemical or biological, and (ii) “passive” or “active” systems. Generally, it is considered that biological treatments are applied to biodegradable waste, whereas chemical treatments are used to remove toxic materials that are not effectively removed biologically. However, due to environmental challenges encountered in the use of some chemical treatments, the last few decades have seen a common effort between industry and the scientific community to develop efficient and environmentally friendly biological methods. The increased number in applications of bioremediation, which is defined as the application of the metabolic capabilities of bacteria, fungi, yeast, algae, plants, and microbial mats to degrade harmful contaminants by naturally enhancing degradation processes, is the result of this effort. In bioremediation applications, active biological systems such as sulfidogenic bioreactors are generally more efficient, but require continuous application with a considerable economical cost. On the other hand, passive biological systems (e.g., wetlands or permeable reactive barriers), require relatively little maintenance and costs, but their implementation might be expensive or impractical.

Until recently, the challenges of bioremediation applications have often been described as being their efficiency and their cost, including a lack of controlled process, the treatment time required, the limitation of the range of contaminants and the difficulty in performance evaluations.

Still, our advances in recent years in understanding microbial degradation and bioremediation, as well as our progress in biochemistry, molecular biology, genetic engineering and biotechnology to optimise biological processes have led to an improved understanding of the potential of such microbial and plant-assisted bioremediation for eco-sustainable environment.

Therefore, this Special Issue is an illustration of the recent progress in new or improved technologies and strategies that demonstrate the role and potential of bioremediation as an environmental science to remediate our contaminated environment.

The topics of interest for this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • decontamination using microorganisms (algae, bacteria, and fungi) and plants
  • inhibitory effects of pollutants on microbial and plant metabolisms
  • biological mechanisms mediating microbial remediation
  • new biocatalysts assisting bioremediation
  • scale up to pilot and industrial levels
  • enzymes and genetically engineered organisms suitable for use in bioremediation
  • environmental studies investigating efficiency of bioremediation strategies

Prof. Dr. Sebastien Farnaud
Dr. Eva Pakostova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • wastewater treatment
  • contaminated soil
  • bioremediation
  • bioleaching
  • phytoremediation
  • mycoremediation
  • bioventing
  • landfarming
  • bioreactor
  • composting
  • bioaugmentation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Design and Operation of Empirical Manganese-Removing Bioreactors and Integration into a Composite Modular System for Remediating and Recovering Metals from Acidic Mine Waters
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11094287 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Packed bed bioreactors were used to remove soluble manganese from a synthetic mine water as the final stage of an integrated bioremediation process. The synthetic mine water had undergone initial processing using a sulfidogenic bioreactor (pH 4.0–5.5) which removed all transition metals present [...] Read more.
Packed bed bioreactors were used to remove soluble manganese from a synthetic mine water as the final stage of an integrated bioremediation process. The synthetic mine water had undergone initial processing using a sulfidogenic bioreactor (pH 4.0–5.5) which removed all transition metals present in elevated concentrations (Cu, Ni, Zn and Co) apart from manganese. The aerobic bioreactors were packed with pebbles collected from a freshwater stream that were coated with black-colored, Mn(IV)-containing biofilms, and their capacity to remove soluble Mn (II) from the synthetic mine water was tested at varying hydraulic retention times (11–45 h) and influent liquor pH values (5.0 or 6.5). Over 99% of manganese was removed from the partly processed mine water when operated at pH 6.5 and a HRT of 45 h. Molecular techniques (clone libraries and T-RFLP analysis) were used to characterize the biofilms and identified two heterotrophic Mn-oxidizing microorganisms: the bacterium Leptothrix discophora and what appears to be a novel fungal species. The latter was isolated and characterized in vitro. Full article
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