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Biological Approaches to Controlling Pollutants
2022, 259-272

Advances in bioremediation of biosurfactants and biomedical wastes

Shreya Sharma, Akhilesh Dubey

Department of Biological Sciences and Engineering, Netaji Subhas University of Technology, Delhi, India.


Current demographic trends, the ascent of immedicable diseases, access to inexpensive generic treatments, and the advent of lifestyle drugs have been pivotal causes of the increased production of biomedical wastes throughout the world. The seemingly endless stream of biomedical wastes has become a topic of global concern and implications due to their presence in surface water, groundwater, soil, etc., and cognate repercussions on vertebrates, invertebrates, and ecosystem structures and functions. Microbes can assist in environmental restoration by binding, oxidizing, volatilizing, immobilizing, or otherwise transmuting pollutants. Bioremediation has the potential to reinstate polluted environments inexpensively yet effectively. The present chapter justifies the need for bioremediation and proffers a holistic study on the development of novel methods and technologies to deal with biomedical wastes. Employing biological surface-active agents produced from microbes has gained considerable attention due to their diverse applicability, biodegradability, low toxicity, effectiveness at extreme conditions of pH and temperature, and low-cost substrates. We discuss the latest progress made and the main properties of biosurfactants followed by an overview of their current use in bioremediation. A thorough investigation on efficacy and toxicity is performed to identify potential limitations and the causes of failures.

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