Biodegradation and recycling

Bio-degradation is a natural way of recycling wastes, or breaking down organic matter into nutrients that can be used by other organisms. The word "Bio-" from the prefix signifies that the decomposition is completed by a enormous variety of bacterium, fungi, insects, worms, and other organisms that consumes the dead substances and recycle it into new forms and "Degradation" denotes the decay. In nature, nothing remains waste because everything gets recycled. The waste material from one organism can be transformed into the food for others, providing nutrients and energy while breaking down the waste organic matter. Some organic materials will break down much quickly than others, but all will eventually decay.

By utilizing these natural forces of bio-degradation, people can reduce wastes and clean up some types of environmental contaminants. Through composting, we accelerate natural biodegradability and convert organic wastes to a valuable resource. Wastewater treatment also promotes natural forces of bio-degradation. In this case the goal is to break down organic matter so that it will not cause pollution problems when the water is discharged into the environment. Through bio remediation, microorganisms are used to clean up oil leakage and other types of organic pollution. Composting and bio remediation provide many opportunities for student research.

17.1 Bio-deterioration and biodegradation of wood and polymeric materials

17.2 Bacterial bioremediation

17.3 Microbiologically influenced corrosion

17.4 Recycling of nutrients, waste and pollution

17.5 Biodiversity of organisms involved in biodeterioration

17.6 Bioremediation in environmental protection

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