Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458
  © 2003 by Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile
Vol. 6 No. 3, Issue of December 15, 2003


Figure 1. In a report of the year 2000, the USA environmental protection agency (EPA) listed about 194 ongoing bioremediation field research projects. Heavy metals and radionuclides represent about 30% of this activity supporting that bioremediation is a feasible technology to decontaminate the environment. Unlike many organic contaminants, most metals and radionuclides cannot be eliminated from the environment by chemical or biological transformation Although it may be possible to reduce the toxicity of certain metals by influencing their speciation, they do not degrade and are persistent in the environment. The conventional remediation technologies that are used to clean heavy metal polluted environments are soil in situ vitrification, soil incineration, excavation and landfill, soil washing, soil flushing, solidification and stabilization electrokinetic systems. Each of the conventional remediation technology has specific benefits and limitations.

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network