Cleaning Pollutants in Drinking Water

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Releasing the Power of Nature for Cleaning Pollutants in Drinking Water

A large percentage of the freshwater resources in the world are contaminated by industrial and agricultural chemicals. These chemicals are increasingly being produced and used in Third World countries where the resources are inadequate — and  sometimes the political will and the financial means are lacking — to clean up chronic pollutants or take precautions against contamination. Releasing the Power of Nature for Cleaning Pollutants in Drinking Water is advancing a new approach for cleaning chemical pollutants from drinking water using encapsulated, naturally occurring bacteria that can efficiently degrade targeted chemicals. Specifically, the project is 1) identifying enzymes that would efficiently degrade targeted pollutants in drinking water and screening out bacteria that would express these enzymes efficiently; and 2) developing a low-cost, low-energy, self-sustained bioremediation system that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world.

Project Leads

  • Alptekin Aksan, College of Science and Engineering
  • Larry Wackett, College of Biological Sciences
  • Diego Escalante, College of Science and Engineering
  • Joey Benson, College of Science and Engineering
  • Jonathan Sakkos, College of Science and Engineering
Institute on the Environment