The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Bioremediation - Disadvantages of Bioremediation

Disadvantages of Bioremediation 


Disadvantages of bioremediation include (Sharma & Reddy, 2004):

1. If the process is not controlled it is possible the organic contaminants may not be broken down fully resulting in toxic by-products that could be more mobile than the initial contamination.

2. The process is sensitive to the level of toxicity and environmental conditions in the ground i.e. the conditions must be conducive to microbial activity e.g. need to consider temperature, pH etc.

3. Field monitoring to track the rate of biodegradation of the organic contaminants is advised.

4. If an ex-situ process is used, controlling volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be difficult.

5. Treatment time is typically longer than that of other remediation technologies.

6. Range of contaminants that can be effectively treated is limited to compounds that are biodegradable.

7. Leaves residual levels that can be too high (not meeting regulatory requirements), persistent, and/or toxic.

8. Performance evaluations are difficult because there is not a defined level of a "clean" site and therefore performance criteria regulations are uncertain.


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