Application of Biotechnology in the Environment
The true essence of our nature i.e. our environment faced a massive downfall over the last decade. But amidst the constant swings of the climate, biotechnology came in as the savior to restore our evergreen environment.
Our environment is rapidly getting violated by the development of emerging industries dispersing their toxic fumes everywhere. The population of the world nearly skyrocketed which leads to further vandalization of our ecosystem. Most importantly global warming is the ringleader, driving our environment towards eternal doom.
With all these in mind, the application of biotechnology in the environment ensures to be safer and cleaner. Various ecofriendly means not only drive pollutants away from contaminated soil, air, and water but also rejuvenates our environment.
Now stay tuned as we’ll dig into the innovative applications of biotechnology in the environment!
Application of Biotechnology in Environment
Our environment is constantly getting threatened by the intense industrialization as well as urbanization. So some biotechnological applications in terms of the environment are as follows:
Oil spills followed by countless toxic byproducts from our industries are typically discarded into the oceans. These poisonous chemicals are also absorbed by the soil for most parts. Usually we’re busy improving our lifestyle with these industrial goods. But behind the scenes, the contaminated water and soil hampers our marine animals and the overall ecosystem.
So the implementation of bioremediation guarantees to ‘remediate’ or purify foreign toxins from our environment by harnessing living microbes and fungi! Some of the microorganisms possess the ability to transform these pollutants into organic nutrients that are in fact beneficial. Green plants can also assist in significantly reducing sludges and sediments from polluted water.
In pharmaceutical industries, drug making also requires bioremediation for converting complex compounds to non-toxic ones. Sewage water can be treated by this process to produce clean water. It’s recommended to not drink this water but it can be applied to irrigation purposes.
However, some chemicals like lead and chromium are typically more difficult and sometimes almost impossible to purify. Other than that, most chemicals from oil spills can be biologically neutralized. Chemicals also infiltrate our environment from over-fertilization as pesticides definitely have the capability to contaminate the rivers. But bioremediation with its eco-friendly motto very efficiently heals our environment.
Nowadays we’re so dependent on electricity that it’s almost miserable to spend a moment without lights and fans. Hence bioenergy is a renewable energy resource that collects energy from living microorganisms called biomass. It can be used to power up our electricity, heating, and transportation fuels. As a result, bioenergy performs as an alternative way to traditional exhaustible sources of energy.
From plants, especially algae-based materials biomass is formed which is considered a sustainable energy source. This is made from crop disposals, wood wastes, as well as food wastes from urban areas. Biomass can be liquefied into forming transportation fuels for cars and jets. These fuels are also made from reusing carbon compounds from our waste for reducing harmful emissions that violate our air.
Biomass can also be utilized to form heat and electricity in the case of biopower. Typically these microorganisms are either burnt or gone through the process of bacterial decay to convert into gas or liquids. Carbon emission is also cut off in this process as biopower opts for a cleaner means to generate electricity.
Most importantly, this form of energy production is abundant! So apart from all the waste reduction, bioenergy will never run out.
Even though pesticides are used for saving crops from harmful insects, they typically damage our environment more than they save our agriculture. That’s because these pesticides are quite difficult to target and eventually ends up polluting the soil or water in the process. Hence biopesticides are derived from natural substances like plants and bacteria that ensures a more eco-friendly way to divert pests away from crops.
Conventional pesticides directly inactivate or sometimes completely kill off these pests. But biopesticides are generated from scented plant extracts that attract these pests into their traps. To increase the precision, certain biopesticides are opted to diminish specific kinds of pests such as certain weeds that are targeted to be controlled by fungi. Again, plants are genetically modified so that pests get repelled away from the very beginning.
Apart from being less poisonous from traditional pesticides, biopesticides also decompose quickly which means they don’t pollute our water and soil. Moreover, a little goes a long way so these can be used for an extensive period. They are also said to boost the overall yield. Some typical forms of biopesticides are extracted from animal wastes like cow urine or food wastes like fermented curd water and chili-garlic extracts.
Bioenzymes are nowadays being incorporated with our daily cleaning supplies to provide us with a more greener cleaning experience. Their sole purpose is to serve our environment, ensuring a cleaner atmosphere. This is carried out by reforming the toxicological structure of an impurity into an innocuous inorganic substance. Apart from cleaning supplies, bioenzymes used in agro-food, petroleum and countless others.
Cleaning supplies are not only expensive but also an emulsion of toxic ingredients masked with their fancy multipurpose charade. Again, synthetic cleaners are said to damage tiles, floors, and their leftovers also contaminate water. So these bioenzymes are optimized for serving their purposes in different cleaning arenas.
Lipases very efficiently break down fats and grease from food spills. Softening of fabrics and restoring their color have never been easier with the help of cellulase enzymes. Moreover, they easily decompose and possess no harm to the environment. So these bioenzymes can be used as normal disinfectants to clean windows and floors.
Bioenzymes can enter every possible nook and cranny of tile grouts and remove stains more efficiently in the process. They also master at repelling small insects like cockroaches that contaminate our household. These can also act like pesticides for maintaining small house plants.
Microbial populations can be detected all over our environment. In order to make good use of it, bioaugmentation enhances this population so that they can serve our environment by reducing the levels of contamination. Pre-grown microbial cultures are added to our environment along with bioreactors to treat the sewage system more efficiently.
However, this process needs extreme precision otherwise adverse effects may come to surface. In places where the habitat of a specific microorganism is already greater, less microbial cultures are added there. So it can also be considered a tailored approach in which targeted breakdown of contaminants can be done.
Treating water using traditional processes costs significantly more than bioaugmentation. Chlorinated compounds are easily broken down with the help of this process. Moreover, they speed up the transformation of macromolecules to micro and are typically faster than traditional processes.
No energy gets wasted here as it requires neither pressure nor electricity. As a result, carbon footprint is highly reduced which adds to the ongoing environmental sustainability.
To ensure the water from our lakes and oceans are safe for marine habitats devices called biosensors are used. They also safeguard humans from having filthy water causing severe bodily issues. Biosensors use bioreceptors which are living microbes to generate a signal that can be transformed to an electrical output.
As a result, they detect pathogens from contaminated water as well as evaluate how effective other applications of environmental biotechnology are. So they look out for bioremediation in the sewage system to determine if dirty water has been properly filtered or not.
Health of animals as well as humans becomes at stake from contaminated water and soil. Not only water but the food we consume can also contain the impurities absorbed from the environment. Immunosensors, aptasensors, and enzymatic biosensors have been opted for the monitoring of various environmental pollutants, using antibodies, aptamers, and enzymes as recognition elements.
Algal-based biosensors can detect the level of herbicides in river water. These measure the changes in the optical properties of the plant’s chlorophyll. Gas-based biosensors assist in detecting the pollutant level from industrial fumes. Moreover, they encourage the efficacy of other applications of environmental biotechnology to protect our environment.
With the assistance of biotechnology, our environment is not only renovated but also a sustainable environment is ensured. So clearly its contribution towards the betterment of our environment is absolutely unfathomable. Now if you’ve tagged along you’re probably familiar with all the ins and outs of the applications of biotechnology in the environment.
In short applications of biotechnology in the environment masters the art of fueling our environment towards betterment. Bioremediation purifies harmful toxins to a more eco-friendly byproduct. Natural microorganisms are harnessed to produce energy to light up our rooms. Biopesticides refrain from killing off insects rather divert them away from crop fields. Housekeeping becomes healthier with the incorporation of bioenzymes. Bioaugmentation enhances our sewage treatment process. Finally, biosensors detect the safety of our environment.
Therefore these innovative approaches of biotechnology keep our environment clean by cutting down on global warming and in turn restoring a peaceful atmosphere for our future generations.