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About this book

Achieving environmental sustainability with rapid industrialization is a major challenge of current scenario worldwide. As globally evident, industries are the key economic drivers, but are also the major polluters as untreated/partially treated effluents discharged from the industries is usually thrown into the aquatic resources and also dumped unattended. Industrial effluents are considered as the major sources of environmental pollution as these contains highly toxic and hazardous pollutants, which reaches far off areas due to the medium of dispersion and thus, create ecological nuisance and health hazards in living beings. Hence, there is an urgent to find ecofriendly solution to deal with industrial waste, and develop sustainable methods for treating/detoxifying wastewater before its release into the environment. Being a low cost and eco-friendly clean technology, bioremediation can be a sustainable alternative to conventional remediation technologies for treatment and management of industrial wastes to protect public health and environment. Therefore, this book (Volume I) covers the bioremediation of different industrial wastes viz. tannery wastewater, pulp and paper mill wastewater, distillery wastewater, acid mine tailing wastes, and many more; which are lacking in a comprehensive manner in previous literature at one place. A separate chapter dedicated to major industries and type of waste produced by them is also included. This book will appeal to students, researchers, scientists, industry persons and professionals in field of microbiology, biotechnology, environmental sciences, eco-toxicology, environmental remediation and waste management and other relevant areas, who aspire to work on the biodegradation and bioremediation of industrial wastes for environmental safety.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction to Industrial Wastes Containing Organic and Inorganic Pollutants and Bioremediation Approaches for Environmental Management

Industrial wastes are one of the sources of environmental pollution. Industrial waste contains a variety of highly toxic organic and inorganic pollutants and thus may cause serious toxicity in the living organisms. Therefore, the adequate treatment and management of such hazardous wastes to protect the environment and public health. Bioremediation can be a suitable alternative to the physicochemical approaches, which are environmentally destructive and costly and may cause secondary pollution. It has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as an eco-friendly waste management technique that revitalizes the contaminated environment and promotes sustainable development. Therefore, this chapter introduces the toxicity profile of different industrial wastes containing various organic and inorganic pollutants and bioremediation technologies such as microbial bioremediation, phytoremediation, enzymatic remediation, electro-bioremediation, nano-bioremediation, etc. with limitations and challenges.
Ram Naresh Bharagava, Gaurav Saxena, Sikandar I. Mulla

Chapter 2. Bioremediation: An Eco-friendly Sustainable Technology for Environmental Management

Evironmental pollution is a major public health concern due to the detrimental effects of pollutants to humans and to other living organisms. Chemical and physical methods of remediation are expensive and do not result in complete removal of pollutants. Moreover, both methods may lead to more pollution and site disruption, thus impacting negatively to humans and other biota in the immediate vicinity of the polluted site. Therefore, chemical and physical methods of remediation are not considered eco-sustainable. Unlike these methods, bioremediation, which relies on biological processes (mediated by different groups of living organisms), results in the permanent removal of pollutants. This chapter covers: the eco-sustainable features of bioremediation, pollutants that are susceptible to bioremediation, groups of organisms that play significant roles in bioremediation, and advantages of bioremediation. Furthermore, it highlighted some limitations of bioremediation and ways of overcoming the limitations. Together, the advantages of bioremediation techniques notably its cost-effectiveness at different scales of operation, the simplicity of operation, process monitoring, and its less destructive features to polluted sites during operation are amongst the features that make bioremediation an eco-sustainable technology for environmental management.
Christopher Chibueze Azubuike, Chioma Blaise Chikere, Gideon Chijioke Okpokwasili

Chapter 3. Application of Microbial Enzymes in Degradation and Detoxification of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants

Microbial enzymes have been reported to play a diverse role in various industrial applications. Microbial enzymes are also useful in bioremediation of environmental pollutants from industrial wastes due to their high specificity to a broad range of substrates (pollutants), use under extreme conditions that microbe cannot thrive, high effectiveness at low pollutant concentration, high activity in the presence of inhibitors of microbial metabolism, and high mobility (small size) than microorganisms. A variety of enzymes are produced by microorganisms that can be used in the degradation and detoxification of a wide range of organic and inorganic pollutants. This chapter provides an overview on the various microbial enzymes that can be used for the bioremediation of environmental pollutants. In addition, the prospects and challenges in applying microbial enzymes in bioremediation are also discussed in this chapter.
Gaurav Saxena, Roop Kishor, Ram Naresh Bharagava

Chapter 4. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Environmental Risks, Toxicological Effects, and Bioremediation for Environmental Safety and Challenges for Future Research

The persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in different media of environment such as air, water, and soil due to its persistence in nature. POPs have the efficacy to contaminate, accumulate, and bioaccumulate in any living organisms through the food chain. Since these are lipophilic and semi-volatile in nature, can move or transport through air mass in the far distance such as Arctic region and mountainous region where the pollutants were never used before. Thus, POPs have the tendency to retain in cold climate for a longer time. Stockholm Convention is a focus to control or eliminate the production and implement the policy against the toxic POPs because these can lead to serious health effects including cancers, birth defects, and dysfunctional immune, nervous, and reproductive systems. The Cucurbita family of plant species including pumpkins, squash, and zucchini has been used widely to uptake the PCBs, DDT, and PAH from contaminated sites. Some of the bacterial group such as Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida, and Bacillus were also reported for the degradation of DDT compounds. The gram-negative (Pseudomonas, Alcaligenes, Achromobacter, Burkholderia sp.) and gram-positive (Rhodococcus, Corynebacterium, and Bacillus sp.) bacteria have been reported for the degradation of PCB compounds, respectively. Many of the native microorganisms develop complex and significantly effective metabolic pathways that allow the biodegradation of toxic compounds released into the environment.
Ningombam Linthoingambi Devi

Chapter 5. Bioremediation of Distillery Effluent: Present Status and Future Prospects

Environmental degradation due to industrial growth is putting pressure on the society and water resources near to the industry. In order to improve and protect the environment from pollution, sustainability between environment and development is vital. Environmental laws are given general applicability, and their enforcement has been increasingly stricter. So, in terms of health, environment, and economy, the fight against pollution has become a major issue. The pollution increase, industrialization, and rapid economic development impose severe risks to the availability and quality of water resources. Distilleries are considered as one of the most polluting and growth-oriented industries in the world. Distilleries consumed a huge amount of water in the manufacturing of alcohol and produce a large amount of wastewater which contains high organic load, has low pH, and is dark brown in color. This wastewater alters the physical, chemical, and biological characteristic of water and soil if thrown directly outside without treatment. In the present investigation, emphasis has been given to reduce the concentration of pollutants of distillery effluents through bioremediation techniques to meet the norms of environmental regulatory authorities. Biodegradation is one of the best techniques to reduce organic load from water bodies, but it has certain limitation. Taking this into consideration, developing an effective treatment plan for distilleries, i.e., coagulation followed by mixed culture aerobic treatment (fungal and algae), seems to be the viable cost-effective and eco-friendly technique.
Sushil Kumar Shukla, Vinod Kumar Tripathi, Pradeep Kumar Mishra

Chapter 6. Plastic Waste: Environmental Hazards, Its Biodegradation, and Challenges

Plastics have become an indispensable part of the society. Lightweight, easy handling, durability, flexibility, resistance to water, and other microbial attacks have made them ubiquitously popular. The extensive use of the long-lived polymer has confronted the environment with a challenging plastic pollution problem. Plastics are the product of coal, natural gas, crude oil, cellulose, and salt manufactured through energy-intensive technology. From cradle to grave, plastics affect the environment in a multifaceted way. The hazardous and ecologically (terrestrial and marine) damaging threats necessitate its removal from the environment. Incineration, landfilling, recycling, and degradation are the four most available options to manage the plastic waste. However, to avoid long-term environmental damage, degradation of plastic is the most preferred option among the management options. Plastic degradation is carried out by photodegradation, thermooxidative degradation, hydrolytic degradation, and biodegradation. Among them, microbial degradation using bacteria and fungi is an emerging strategy to manage plastic waste. Hence, this chapter highlights the benefits, concerns, and threats surrounding the use of plastics. The different perspectives covered in this chapter include plastic production and plastic waste generation, environmental and health effects of plastic pollution, plastic waste management options, biodegradation of plastic polymers and the mechanism involved, biodegradable plastics, and challenges and constraints of plastic waste biodegradation.
Kadapakkam Nandabalan Yogalakshmi, Sukhman Singh

Chapter 7. Textile Industry Wastewaters as Major Sources of Environmental Contamination: Bioremediation Approaches for Its Degradation and Detoxification

In the past few decades, rapid industrialization led to increasing the demand for textile products which leads to increase in water pollution. Effluent released by the textile industry pose a threat to environmental safety throughout the world. Bioremediation approaches could be considered as an efficient and effective way to treat textile effluent relative to existing physical and chemical methods. This book chapter describes various methods used to treat textile industry wastewater. Bioremediation approaches using live cells system, enzymes, and phytoremediation approaches and their detailed mechanisms have also been discussed. Further discussion on the various types of the bioreactors employed to treat textile industry wastewater at large scale is summarized. The performance of the system and their key challenges and future technological aspects are also briefly discussed. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of bioremediation approaches to resolve issues related to textile industry wastewater and to minimize pollution and control their associated effects on the environment.
Rijuta Ganesh Saratale, J. Rajesh Banu, Han-Seung Shin, Ram Naresh Bharagava, Ganesh Dattatraya Saratale

Chapter 8. Management of Petroleum Industry Waste Through Biosurfactant-Producing Bacteria: A Step Toward Sustainable Environment

Petroleum oil and its product contain various toxic compounds that can be regarded as toxic for environment and health. Terrestrial ecosystems contaminated by petroleum industry waste are considered to be hazardous due to hydrocarbon toxicity. Oil-contaminated soil causes toxicity in microorganism, plants, and animals. Hence, various approaches (biological, chemical, and physical technologies) have been adopted for remediation petroleum-contaminated terrestrial environment. Biosurfactants are amphiphilic, heterogeneous metabolites secreted by microorganisms consisting of hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties, having the ability to manage petroleum oil and its product at various environmental conditions. They are highly degradable in soil and water and are low toxic in nature. Hence, the present chapter discusses details about biosurfactant and biosurfactant-producing bacteria and their role in management of petroleum-contaminated terrestrial ecosystem.
Amar Jyoti Das, Shweta Ambust, Rajesh Kumar

Chapter 9. Environmental Contamination, Toxicity Profile, and Bioremediation Approaches for Detoxification of Paper Mill Wastewater

Pulp and paper mills are considered as core sector industries and are the fifth largest contributor to industrial water pollution globally. During the processing of lignocellulosic material for paper production, a large quantity of brown/black effluent is generated with high BOD, COD, potentially toxic chlorinated compounds, adsorbable organic halides (AOXs), suspended solids, tannins, resin acids, sulfur compounds, and lignins. Lignin and chlorinated derivatives (e.g., ligno-sulfonic acid, resins, phenols, and hydrocarbons) released during pulping and bleaching operations impart dark color and toxicity to the effluent. The discharge of untreated/partially treated effluent into the receiving water bodies results in an increase in BOD/COD, slime growth, thermal problems, scum formation, discoloration, loss of aesthetic quality, and toxicity to the aquatic life. The toxic chlorinated organic compounds and hazardous metals present in wastewater pose serious human health risks through long-term exposure via drinking water and/or through consumption of fish that can bioaccumulate certain toxic metals from the food chain. Hence, several attempts have been made to degrade/detoxify pulp and paper mill wastewater. Keeping in view several disadvantages associated with conventional physicochemical treatment methods, biological methods have drawn the significant attention of the researchers as safer and cost-effective technologies for the treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent. In aforesaid context, present chapter encompasses the problem of environmental contamination due to pulp and paper mill effluent and its adverse effects on the environment and human population. It also highlights novel, energy, and cost-effective environment-friendly technologies to treat pulp and paper mill effluent.
Shiv Shankar, Shikha, Arpna Ratnakar, Shailja Singh, Shalu Rawat

Chapter 10. Recent Advances in Phytoremediation of Soil Contaminated by Industrial Waste: A Road Map to a Safer Environment

The advent of the industrial revolution has boosted human and technological development, but at a price. Contaminants have been increasingly accumulating across wider areas scattered around the world, making pollution a major planetary issue. Among these pollutants, those related to industrial waste are perhaps the most threatening due to their broad variety and capacity to migrate through the air, water, and soil, enter the food chain, and cause a deleterious impact on life and the environment. Finding solutions to deter industrial pollution has thus become the need of the hour. However, conventional techniques have often proven unworkable due to their cost and harmful collateral effects to the environment. In this light, a plant-based technique with the capacity to stabilize, extract, and/or degrade pollutants known as phytoremediation, has emerged as a promising alternative due to its inexpensiveness and environment-friendly character. Here, we review the latest advances on phytoremediation of sites afflicted by industrial pollution and outline the future scope of this green technique.
Cassiano A. R. Bernardino, Claudio F. Mahler, Paula Alvarenga, Paula M. L. Castro, Eduardo Ferreira da Silva, Luís A. B. Novo

Chapter 11. Toxicity of Hexavalent Chromium in Environment, Health Threats, and Its Bioremediation and Detoxification from Tannery Wastewater for Environmental Safety

Heavy metal pollution in the environment has become one of the major concerns worldwide due to its long persistency in the environment and highly toxic nature in living beings. Heavy metals are often non-biodegradable in nature and hence persist for a long time in the environment, cause serious soil and water pollution, and create severe health hazards in humans and animals. Among heavy metals, chromium has been considered as the highly toxic inorganic pollutant, which is disposed off in the environment through various natural and anthropogenic sources. Chromium has been also listed as the priority pollutant by many environment and health protection agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Hexavalent form of chromium has been reported to cause genotoxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic effects in living beings. Hence, the removal of chromium from tannery wastewater is urgently required. The physicochemical approaches are currently applied for the removal of chromium from tannery wastewater, which are not eco-friendly in nature and use a huge amount of chemicals to treat tannery wastewater. However, biological approaches can be an eco-friendly alternative to treat and detoxify the chromium-containing tannery wastewater prior to its disposal in the environment. This chapter provides a detailed information about the sources of chromium contamination in the environment and their toxic effects in human, animal, plants, as well as in microbes and bioremediation approaches for its detoxification from tannery wastewater for environmental and public health safety.
Vidya Laxmi, Garima Kaushik

Chapter 12. Arsenic Contamination in Environment, Ecotoxicological and Health Effects, and Bioremediation Strategies for Its Detoxification

The present day global environmental pollution is resultant of modernization, industrialization, urbanization, and several other anthropogenic activities, which involve the huge application of trace metals. Among the trace metals, Arsenic (As) is known as the leading toxicant to the environment worldwide and having the various toxic effects on human and animal health. Exposure of As causes various types of health effects like dermal and neurological problems, reproductive and pregnancy effects, cardiovascular effects, diabetes mellitus, diseases of the respiratory system, multiorgan cancers, etc. The persistence of As in the environment may pollute or contaminate soils and aqueous system as both natural components or as the result of human activity. In recent years, the development of efficient green chemistry methods for detoxification of trace metal poisoning has become a major focus of researchers. It has been investigated in order to find an eco-friendly and recyclable technique for the removal of trace elements contamination from the natural resources. Bioremediation process in this regards is an option that offers the possibility to reduce or render trace and toxic elements such as As using plants and microbes. Among the various bioremediation processes, phytoremediation and bioremediation using microbes are quite effective. Phytoremediation includes the removal of contaminants with the help of green plants, while the microbial bioremediation includes the removal of trace and toxic elements by microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast and algae) as sorbents. The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of the As contamination in the environment and also the mechanism of removal of the As from the contaminated resources by the potent application of plants and microbes.
Manoj Kumar, Anoop Yadav, A. L. Ramanathan

Chapter 13. Organophosphate Pesticides: Impact on Environment, Toxicity, and Their Degradation

Organophosphate pesticides are extensively used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of crops. Hence, these insecticides persist in the environs and thereby cause severe pollution problems. Synthetic pesticides including organophosphates insecticides are found to be toxic and/or hazardous to a variety of organisms like living soil biota along with valuable arthropods, fish, birds, human beings, animals, and plants. Organophosphate pesticides might be decontaminated quickly through hydrolysis on exposure to biosphere, which are responsible to be significantly influenced by abiotic and/or biotic factors. The bacterial cultures isolated from various places are the major entities in the environment with a unique capability to break down different organophosphate pesticides for their growth. Additionally, a potential engineered strain(s) application for the bioremediation of organophosphate(s) is of great interest. In the current chapter, the published information on organophosphates impact on environment, toxic effects, and the available results of their degradation are discussed.
Sikandar I. Mulla, Fuad Ameen, Manjunatha P. Talwar, Syed Ali Musstjab Akber Shah Eqani, Ram Naresh Bharagava, Gaurav Saxena, Preeti N. Tallur, Harichandra Z. Ninnekar

Chapter 14. Constructed Wetlands: An Eco-sustainable Phytotechnology for Degradation and Detoxification of Industrial Wastewaters

Globally, water quality is deteriorating at alarming levels and sanitation; infrastructures are also crumbling at an alarming rate due to technology and management challenges. While infrastructure inadequacy and poor maintenance of the existing structures continue to be a major driving force, industrialization and population increase have played a major role in the crisis of water shortage and wastewater treatment. The inability to recycle industrial wastewater is of particular importance to the socioeconomic development of the country. The water recycling challenges are even more prevalent in poor and developing countries where industrialization, coupled with limited resources and technologies for wastewater reclamation, is high. There is an urgent need for the development and implementation of innovative industrial wastewater management system that will be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly and be able to reduce industrial contaminants to the levels that will pose no harm to the communities, thus contributing to resolving industrial wastewater treatment constraints in developing countries and, in particular, in the remote poor areas of the developing countries. Phytotechnology has been studied and developed for this purpose and has proved a success in the treatment of both domestic and industrial wastewaters.
Mathews Simon Mthembu, Christine Akinyi Odinga, Faizal Bux, Feroz Mahomed Swalaha

Chapter 15. Nano-bioremediation: A New Age Technology for the Treatment of Dyes in Textile Effluents

Heterogeneity, recalcitrance, and ubiquitous persistence of textile effluent make it the foulest industrial pollutant which poses a serious threat to soil and water bodies. Textile effluent like all other industrial effluents contributes considerably to environmental pollution. Presence of huge amount of water-soluble unfixed dyes, heavy metals, acids, alkalis, inorganic and organic salts has resulted in a highly concentrated, colored, and complex high strength wastewater that resists degradation. The conventional treatment methods including biological and physicochemical methods for treatment of textile waste are not convincing enough because of low biodegradability of dyes, fouling of filters, high pressure requirement, and generation of sludge containing iron hydroxide. Hence, it has become imperative to seek alternative advanced technology which must be essentially environment competent. Exquisite properties are shown to be possessed by the nanoparticles making it an efficient technology for cleanup of environmental pollutants. Nanoremediation is an upcoming field of research with huge prospects in the treatment of environmental contaminants. In addition to its high reactivity with the contaminants, they also act as suitable carriers for immobilization of whole cells and enzymes. Effluent treatment aided by enzymes has been demonstrated to be effective for recalcitrant pollutants and requires moderate reaction conditions, making them environmentally sound. The generic enzymes sought for the treatment of textile pollutants include most of the peroxidase, cytochrome reductase (Fe III), and oxidoreductase. This chapter extensively covers current know-how of nanoparticles as a carrier for several enzymes for the degradation of pollutants present in textile wastewater. The role of nanoparticle in the removal of dyes is also highlighted.
Kadapakkam Nandabalan Yogalakshmi, Anamika Das, Gini Rani, Vijay Jaswal, Jatinder Singh Randhawa

Chapter 16. Green Synthesis of Nanoparticles and Their Applications in Water and Wastewater Treatment

Green synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) is an emerging research trend in green nanotechnology as this method is nontoxic or less toxic, eco-friendly, efficient, and cost-effective as compared to other conventional physical and chemical methods. Green synthesis of NPs employs various biological agents such as plants, bacteria, algae, and fungi, but nowadays plant-based green synthesis of NPs is gaining more attention among researchers from around the world. A variety of green synthesized NPs are currently being used in water and wastewater treatment due to their high efficiency and biocompatible nature. Green synthesized NPs are highly proficient for recycling and removal of heavy metal from wastewaters without loss of their stability and degradation of a variety of organic pollutants from wastewaters and, thus, purify the wastewaters for reuse and recycling and could solve various water quality issues worldwide. However, regeneration and reusability are the main challenges to researchers and scientist yet in the green synthesis approach as a technology transfer from laboratory scale to commercial applications. In this chapter, we discussed the green synthesis approach for NPs and their applications in water and wastewater treatment and dye degradation from wastewaters. Further, challenges and issues related to the use of green synthesized NPs in water and wastewater treatment are also discussed.
Surya Pratap Goutam, Gaurav Saxena, Diptarka Roy, Anil Kumar Yadav, Ram Naresh Bharagava

Chapter 17. Environmental Hazards and Toxicity Profile of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants of Tannery Wastewater and Bioremediation Approaches

Undoubtedly, leather industries are the key contributors in the economy of many developing countries. However, unfortunately these are also one of the major polluters worldwide, generating large volumes of high-strength wastewater having high pH, dark brown color, unpleasant odor, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, and a blend of highly toxic environmental pollutants. It reduces sunlight penetration in aquatic resources which in turn decreases both photosynthetic activity and dissolved oxygen concentration affecting aquatic life; however, on land, it causes reduction in soil alkalinity and inhibition of seed germination. Moreover, it may also create serious toxicity in living beings upon exposure. Therefore, it becomes necessary to adequately treat/detoxify the tannery wastewater to protect the environment and living beings. Therefore, this chapter provides an overview on the environmental impacts, toxicity profile of tannery wastewater, and existing and emerging bioremediation strategies for environmental safety.
Gaurav Saxena, Diane Purchase, Ram Naresh Bharagava

Chapter 18. Bioremediation: An Eco-friendly Cleanup Strategy for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons from Petroleum Industry Waste

The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a major pollutant from petroleum industry and oil refineries. This group of organic xenobiotics is produced either by pyrolytic or petrogenic sources. The physicochemical properties of PAHs such as hydrophobicity and electrochemical stability increase its persistence in the environment and add to the carcinogenicity and other health impacts. The major degradation processes of PAH in the environment are adsorption, volatilization, photolysis, chemical oxidation, bioaccumulation, and microbial degradation. The microbial communities like bacteria, fungi, and algae play a significantly important role in the biological removal of PAHs. The natural attenuation, bioaugmentation, biostimulation, phytoremediation, rhizoremediation, and composting are major bioremediation approaches for PAHs from contaminated environment. The enzymes linked with the PAH degradation are mainly oxygenases, manganese peroxidases, lipases, and laccases. The surfactant production in the microbes increases the bioavailability of PAH and enhanced the removal process. The PAH degradation depends on the various environmental conditions such as temperature, pH, aeration, moisture content, nutrient availability, absence of toxic compounds, and the type and number of degrading microbial population. The bacterial and fungal degradation pathways produce intermediate metabolites and mineralization to carbon dioxide. The molecular techniques like gene engineering and protein engineering improve the removal of PAHs. Thus the biodegradation of PAHs is linked to the carbon cycle and remediation of these persistent organo-molecules from the environment.
M. S. Dhanya, Arun Kalia
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