Course Instructor Date Bioremediation, Algal biofuel and Microcosm Bioremediation Plan Bioremediation is a viable option for a weapons and explosives (TNT, ammunition) burial ground. Nitroaromatic compounds such as 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) are xenobiotics that can undergo microbial degradation in the environment but the process is relatively slow…
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This would also prevent the unrestricted removal of the explosives and weapons. In addition, this would also prevent accidental release of TNT to water sources. A perimeter fence should be erected on the burial ground, and before the process of bioremediation commences, a mines expert should conduct a risk assessment of the area. This is to ensure that personnel are protected from the random detonation of explosives especially cluster bombs. Protection material should be issued to personnel as TNT is toxic and carcinogenic. The nitroaromatic compounds will be degraded at field scale by employing in situ bioremediation strategies. The microbial cultures for aerobic respiration will comprise of Pseudomonas spp. The rate of the bioremediation process will be increased via biostimulation and this entails the incorporation of nutrient media to boost process efficiency and activity of monooxygenase enzyme. These bacteria will utilize TNT as a nitrogen source by removing it in nitrite form from TNT under aerobic conditions. Further aerobic respiration will result in the reduction of nitrite to ammonium. However other by-products such as nitroso and hydroxylamine intermediates will be formed. After aerobic degradation, anaerobic degradation will follow using Clostridium spp . The Clostridium spp will fully degrade the toxic intermediates. The fermentable sugar that will be supplemented will be molasses and it will provide energy for the Clostridium spp to degrade the nitrate contaminants. After the bioremediation process, follow up tests should be conducted on the soil to check for the presence of nitroaromatic compounds. Routine monitoring should entail collection of soil samples to test nitroaromatic contaminants using high power liquid chromatography (HPLC). Question 2 The process of generating biofuels using algae is viable. Genetic modification can be incorporated to produce recombinant high oil yielding Spirulina alga strains. The alga strains will be cultivated in a pond using starter culture of superior genetically modified alga strains. The special ponds are open paddle wheel mixed ponds. These ponds are low cost and have a low parasitic energy demand (Lundquist, et al 3). The biomass will be harvested via bioflocculation followed by the process of sedimentation. The formed algae slurry will be thickened via gravity sedimentation. Drying of the biomass will be done using solar heat. A hexane extraction plant will be set up to extract oils from the dry algae biomass. The plant must have a large capacity that is approximately 4000 metric tons per day for favorable economies of scale. After extraction of oil from the alga biomass, the residual biomass is recycled back in the pond. It is re-wetted before the process of anaerobic digestion in order to yield biogas and flue gas. Biogas is used to generate electricity that is used in the pond. Flue gas is a source of carbon dioxide in the pond. Other digester residues comprise of carbon and nutrients and they are also recycled in the pond for alga propagation. The nutrients comprise of the much needed phosphorus and nitrogen that is essential for algal growth. Recycling of these crucial nutrients provides a major cost cutting measure. Question 3 The chapter, E.coli genesis from the book Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of
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