Geomicrobiology and Environmental Biotechnology
Environmental Technology and Engineering
Published Online: 15 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Environmetrics
How to Cite
Gadd, G. M. 2013. Geomicrobiology and Environmental Biotechnology. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 3.
- Published Online: 15 JAN 2013
Microbes play key geoactive roles in the biosphere in element and mineral biotransformations. Central to many geomicrobial processes are transformations of metals and minerals. Apart from being important in natural biosphere processes, metal and mineral transformations have beneficial or detrimental consequences in a human context. Bioremediation is the application of biological systems to the cleanup of organic and inorganic pollution, with bacteria and fungi being the most important organisms for reclamation, immobilization, or detoxification of metallic and radionuclide pollutants. Some biominerals or metallic elements deposited by microbes have catalytic and other properties in nanoparticle, crystalline, or colloidal forms. Several metal and mineral transformations by microbes result in spoilage and destruction of natural and synthetic materials, rock and mineral-based building materials, for example, concrete, acid mine drainage and associated metal pollution, biocorrosion of metals, alloys, and related substances, and adverse effects on radionuclide speciation, mobility, and containment.