About this Research Topic
Hazardous pollutants (HPs) include chemicals and byproducts from agriculture and industry (pesticides, flame retardants, sulfides, heavy metals, etc.). Environmental pollution with HPs exists worldwide including extensive contamination of aquatic environments. Microbial decomposition and transformation of HPs play a key role in pollution treatment and ecological restoration, and it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying these processes.
Electron transfer efficiency is key for microbial respiratory activity, and in some environments, there may be many potential electron acceptors/donors, and manipulation of these interactions may hold potential to enhance the degradative activities of the microbial community. For example, can key factors (e.g., the addition electron donors/acceptors) be identified that control degradation of HPs by regulating the respiratory activity of indigenous functional microorganisms? If so, how can mechanistic information be implemented for pollutant cleanup at an actual site? With the emergence of new biological principles and technologies, enhanced bioremediation techniques based on microbial respiration have been developed in aspects of increasing the number of effective electron donors or acceptors, improving the electron conduction capacity between microbes and pollutants, or providing electron mediators.
These novel techniques have the potential to be applied in large scale, for the treatment of HPs or the simultaneous treatment of HPs and coexisting pollutants (e.g., nitrate). Additionally, there are frequently “hot spots” of HPs in contaminated environments, where HP levels are inhibitory to microbial activity. In these cases, auxiliary biological treatment technologies may be utilized to initiate clean-up and enable subsequent biological treatment. Based on the above, the present Research Topic will focus on areas including, but not limited to:
1. Improving energy efficiency during decomposition and transformation of HPs:
• bio-electrochemical technologies
• nano-scale particle-stimulated bioremediation
• stimulation of in situ bioremediation through addition of organic compounds
• biochar assisted degradation
• assisted degradation through symbiotic networks with aquatic plants;
2. Novel technologies enhance biodegradation of multiple HPs
3. New insights into the mechanistic network and synergies formed by the microbiomes involved in the biotransformation of one or multiple HPs
4. Impact on HP decomposition on other potentially toxic substances (nanoparticles, microplastics) present during the biotransformation process
Keywords: Bio-stimulation, Hazardous Pollutants, Microbial Ecology, Enhanced Degradation Performance
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