Bioremediation is a relatively new technology that has recently gained considerable attention. Bioremediation uses naturally occurring microorganisms to degrade and break down organic contaminants into harmless products consisting mainly of carbon dioxide and water. In situ biore-mediation has two basic approaches. The first approach relies on the natural biological activities of indigenous microorganisms in the subsurface. The second approach is called enhanced bioremediation and involves stimulating the existing microorganisms by adding oxygen and nutrients. Most organic compounds are biodegradable, some faster than others. The rate of biodegradation, however, depends on the chemical structure of the compound as discussed in Section 9.12 and shown in Table 9.12.3. Figure 9.18.1 shows a simplified representation of a groundwa-ter bioremediation system.

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