Microorganisms and Organic Pollutants Chapter uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The objective of this chapter is to describe the interaction of microorganisms with organic pollutants. In particular, the ability of heterotrophic microbes to degrade organic pollutants via a process known as bioremediation is examined. The overall process of biodegradation is discussed, including the role of contaminant structure on bioavailability and toxicity. The influence of environmental factors on biodegradation is also described including essential nutrient requirements in addition to carbon substrate; redox conditions; moisture, temperature and other soil characteristics. Degradation of specific types of organic compounds is evaluated under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Major classes of compounds discussed include: aliphatics; alicyclics and aromatics including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides. Finally, bioremediation technologies and strategies to enhance bioremediation effectiveness are described.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Maier, R. M., & Gentry, T. J.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Maier, Raina M||Gentry, Terry J

Book Title

  • Environmental Microbiology

publication date

  • January 2015