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The use of a biological process (via plants or microorganisms) to clean up a polluted environmental area (such as an oil spill).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A process that uses biological agents, such as bacteria, fungi, or green plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water. Plants can be used to aerate polluted soil and stimulate microbial action. The cleanup of a contaminated site using biological methods, i.e., bacteria, fungi, and plants, is a form of bioremediation. Organisms are used to either break down contaminants in soil or water, or accumulate the contaminants in their tissue for disposal. Many bioremediation techniques are substantially less costly than traditional remediation methods using heat, chemical, or mechanical means.
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"Olestra may be a logical means for biological remediation to remove toxicants," says Bernard Hennig, a professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Kentucky, adding, "[this work] needs to be confirmed in humans." Jandacek hopes to eventually feed olestra chips to people living in an area with known organochlorine contamination and monitor toxicant excretion.
Biological remediation technologies offer the advantage of partial or complete destruction of contaminants within a site.

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