Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)‐contaminated soils have been a concern during last decades; consequently, physicochemical and biological technologies have emerged and evolved with the aim of remediating them. Particularly, biological technologies are considered promising since they are low cost, safe and environmentally friendly. However, their results so far have been diverse and scattered. This chapter includes a review of the current status on bioaugmentation, biostimulation and bioattenuation techniques, which have been applied in PAHs‐contaminated agricultural soils during the last decades. Successes and failures in PAHs remediation applied at microcosm and field levels are exhibited. Furthermore, the effects of microbial inoculum, the soil organic matter and the particle size of the aggregates on the PAHs’ availability and on the subsequent microbial biodegradation are reviewed. Finally, agricultural management systems are considered in the prediction of the behaviour and the end‐point of some contaminants, as well as in the success of applying a biological technique.
Part of the book: Soil Contamination
Hypersaline environments are those with salt concentrations 9–10 times higher (30–35% of NaCl) than sea water (3.5% of NaCl). At high concentrations of soluble salts, cytoplasm—mainly of bacteria and archaea—is exposed to high ionic strength and achieves osmotic equilibrium by maintaining a cytoplasmic salt concentration similar to that of the surrounding media. Halophilic enzymes are extremozymes produced by halophilic microorganisms; they have similar characteristics to regular enzymes but different properties, mainly structural. Among these properties is a high requirement of salt for biological functions. Furthermore, the discovery of enzymes capable of degrading biopolymers offer a new perspective in the treatment of residues from oil deposits, under typically high conditions of salt and temperature, while giving valuable information on heterotrophic processes in saline environments.
Part of the book: Kinetics of Enzymatic Synthesis