Caister Academic Press

Microorganisms Application for Volatile Compounds Degradation

Christian Kennes, Haris N. Abubackar, Jianmeng Chen and María C. Veiga
from: Microbial Biodegradation: From Omics to Function and Application (Edited by: Jerzy Długoński). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 183-196.


The emission of volatile pollutants to the atmosphere and air pollution have become a major concern. Volatile pollutants are emitted from either stationary sources or mobiles sources. Common air pollutants are particulate matter as well as volatile organic and inorganic compounds. Different technologies can be used for their removal, including bioprocesses in case of volatile compounds. Both bacteria and fungi are able to degrade a rather wide range of natural as well as anthropogenic substrates. Although less research has been done on fungi, the latter have recently proven to be efficient biocatalysts for the removal of some of those pollutants, tolerating acidic conditions and environments with limited moisture content. Rather than simply mineralizing pollutants into harmless compounds, recent approaches have also considered the possibility to convert them into end metabolites with added value and commercial interest, e.g. fuels or platform chemicals. The biodegradation or bioconversion of volatile pollutants is performed in bioreactors. The most common bioreactors used in full-scale installations include the biofilter, the biotrickling filter, the bioscrubber and systems based on gas diffusion through suspended-growth bioreactors. Some other bioreactor configurations have been tested at laboratory scale as well. In most cases, such bioprocesses allow for a complete and efficient removal of volatile organic and inorganic compounds read more ...
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