Biobarriers and bioremediation

A distribution of contaminant moves through a three-dimensional domain as seen from the side

The pollution of the terrestrial environment has massive implications on biota and human health. It has been proposed that subsurface structures created by biofilm-forming micro-organisms, termed biobarriers, can restrict pollutant spread by the selective plugging of the soil-pore space and assist in the remediation of that pollutant.



A distribution of contaminant moves through a three-dimensional domain as seen from above

A three dimensional mathematical model has been developed that distinguishes between different growth states of the micro-organisms allowing the simulation of the growth and remediation properties of a biobarrier. The effect of different biobarrier designs has been considered and it has been shown that while biobarriers can help prevent pollutant spread, they can potentially introduce further ecological problems. The modelling results hence suggest ways to minimize such deleterious effects and improve the efficiency of biobarriers as bioremediation agents.

For more information please contact Graeme Boswell