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About the project

The overall objective of this project is to develop new technologies for bioremediation of pesticide-contaminated soil and water resources. Due to increasing pesticide contamination of the groundwater there is an urgent need for such technologies to preserve and protect the drinking water supply. The project focuses on bioaugmentation, i.e. the introduction of specific degradative microorganisms into contaminated soil, waterworks sand filters, etc. The specific research objectives are:
  1. To develop new strategies for isolating bacteria and fungi able to survive and degrade pesticides present in the soil or water in low concentrations and to determine their potential usefulness for bioaugmentation.
  2. To evaluate the feasibility of using fungal-bacterial consortia for bioremediation of pesticide-contaminated soil and water and to isolate suitable consortia.
  3. To design carriers for immobilising degradative microorganisms in order to enhance their survival and activity and protect them from protozoan grazing, thereby facilitating bioaugmentation in the field.
  4. To evaluate the newly developed bioaugmentation technologies in practice for remediating pesticide-contaminated soil, for treating pesticide-contaminated groundwater in waterworks sand filters and for establishing reactive barriers within water supply wells to remediate contaminated groundwater prior to abstraction.
  5. To provide young researchers with interdisciplinary expertise in bioremediation.
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