Microorganisms and nanoparticles
NANOMICRO is a bioremediation project for soils involving the injection of exogenous microorganisms that are capable of feeding on the pollution present in these soils. Substrates enabling the correct development of exogenous and endogenous microrganisms (c-to-d present in polluted soils) are injected at the same time as the exogenous microorganisms. The original idea for the NANOMICRO project is to use nanoparticles to stimulate the growth and activity of exogenous microrganisms.
Participating in the perfection of bioremediation techniques
“ The basis of the project is to carry out what is called the bioremediation of soils which involves injecting polluted soils with microorganisms (in this case called exogenous microorganisms) capable of feeding on the pollution that is present in the soils. Substrates enabling the correct development of exogenous and endogenous microrganisms (c-to-d present in polluted soils) are injected at the same time as the exogenous microorganisms” explains Stéphanie Lambert-Jamoulle. The original idea for the NANOMICRO project was to use nanoparticles to stimulate the growth and activity of exogenous microorganisms. Bioremediation presents non-negligible advantages: reduced costs, total efficacy on volatile residual pollutants and on non-chlorinated pollutants such as lubricants, oils and a large number of aromatic hydrocarbons but also some chlorinated pollutants. In addition, it can be carried out in situ, requiring neither the excavation of soils nor heavy logistics particularly in terms of transport. It should be noted that the choice of treatments used is influenced by the intended future use of the terrain concerned. If it involves real estate operations, the time necessary before the remediation of the land is an essential parameter. In this case there will be little or no place for treatments in the long-term. The excavation and exportation of polluted soils are therefore chosen in the majority of cases. This solves the problem locally but raises the question of the treatment of the excavated soil. Bioremediation would seem to be the ideal solution in comparative terms. The main disadvantage lies in the duration of the treatment required, estimated to be about four years in Belgium for urgent situations and fifteen years in the other cases. This disadvantage is not to be taken lightly when we know the areas that need to be treated.
(1) Regional Government of Wallonia decree relative to the «remediation of polluted soils and active economic sites to be renovated » adopted on April 1st 2004