SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.27 número1Efecto de la inoculación de plantas de Tarwi con cepas de Bradyrhizobium spp. aisladas de un lupino silvestre, en condiciones de invernaderoUna mirada a los estudios de transcriptoma en algas pardas de importancia industrial, en especial del género Macrocystis índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




  • No hay articulos citadosCitado por SciELO

Links relacionados


Revista Peruana de Biología

versión On-line ISSN 1727-9933

Rev. peru biol. vol.27 no.1 Lima ene./mar 2020 

Artículo de congreso

Environmental Biotechnology: Challenges and perspectives in applying combined technologies to enhance remediation and renewable energy generation

Biotecnología ambiental: desafíos y perspectivas en la aplicación de tecnologías combinadas para mejorar la remediación y la generación

Maria Lucila Hernández- Macedo1  2  *

Jorge A López1  2

Katlin Ivon Barrios Eguiluz3  4

Giancarlo Richard Salazar-Banda3  4

1 Laboratório de Biologia Molecular, Instituto de Tecnologia e Pesquisa, Aracaju, SE, Brasil

2 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia Industrial, Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju, SE, Brasil

3 Laboratório de Eletroquímica e Nanotecnologia, Instituto de Tecnologia e Pesquisa, Aracaju, SE, Brasil

4 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Engenharia de Processos, Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju, SE, Brasil


The various industrial sectors, as well as livestock and agricultural activities, are increasing the production of inputs to meet the demand of the worldwide demographic explosion, making a challenge the clean maintenance of water, soil, and air. Therefore, the search for solutions for a pollutant-free environment without compromising economic development has become extremely important. Thereby, biotechnological studies in order to solve environmental issues have been gaining extensive attention through the coupling of technology procedures to biological systems as sustainable solutions to remediate contaminated areas. In this sense, this review covers topics such as the role of Omics era in microbial environmental biotechnology for pollution control as well as the microbial fuel cell use in energy production. Moreover, phytoremediation and the perspective of applying chemical methods are approached as environmentally friendly tools for the pollutant control to improve remediation processes.

Keywords: Environmental Biotechnology; Bioremediation; Advanced oxidation processes; Electrochemistry


Los diversos sectores industriales, así como las actividades ganaderas y agrícolas, están aumentando la producción de insumos para satisfacer la demanda de la explosión demográfica mundial, lo cual dificulta el mantenimiento limpio del agua, el suelo y el aire. Por lo tanto, la búsqueda de soluciones para un medio ambiente libre de contaminantes sin comprometer el desarrollo económico se ha vuelto extremadamente importante. De este modo, los estudios biotecnológicos para resolver problemas ambientales han recibido una gran atención a través del acoplamiento de procedimientos tecnológicos a sistemas biológicos como soluciones sostenibles para remediar áreas contaminadas. En este sentido, esta revisión cubre temas como el papel de la era Ómica en la biotecnología ambiental microbiana para el control de la contaminación, así como el uso de celdas de combustible microbianas en la producción de energía. Además, la fitorremediación y la perspectiva de aplicar métodos químicos se abordan como herramientas ecológicas para el control de contaminantes y mejorar los procesos de remediación.

Palabras clave: Biotecnología ambiental; Biorremediación; Procesos de oxidación avanzados; Electroquímica


Environmental biotechnology depicts the biological system application (e.g. microorganisms, plant, algae) to improve environmental quality by removing pollutants (Vallero 2016). Overall, biological processes can be used to biotreat solid, liquid, and gaseous wastes to generate renewable energy and bioremediate polluted environments (Petsas & Vagi 2019).

Microorganisms and their metabolites play a significant role in environmental bioremediation process and are reported for their ability to degrade hydrocarbon pollutants (Lustosa et al. 2018), heavy metals (Verma & Kuila, 2019), and pesticides (Jariyal et al. 2018). The pollutant biodegradation involves several steps, using different enzymes produced by an individual microorganism strain or a microbial consortium (Abbasian et al. 2015). Regarding bacteria, enzymes involved in biodegradation are mostly encoded in plasmids, constituting an oxidase system. On the other hand, Fungi and other eukaryotic organisms oxidize aromatic compounds through mono-oxygenases, forming a trans-diol intermediate (Varjani 2017).

In this context, the access to omics datasets (e.g. metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) is revolutionizing the biology, enabling approaches to understand biological processes and apply them in the field of environmental biotechnology. These tools provided molecular studies of microbial enzyme characterization as a biotechnological approach to develop biological agents to solve environmental problems to recover contaminated water or soil (Padey et al. 2019).

Besides microorganisms, green plants are also used to remove hazardous compounds, through a process called phytoremediation. This green technology is based on the interaction between plants and soil microbiota to reduce the concentration or toxic effect of pollutants, considered as a cost-effective and effective and sustainable environmental recovery technology (Jeevanantham et al. 2019). Several hazardous compounds can be degraded by phytoremediation, including heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Ni, Hg), radioactive elements (U, Cs, Sr), petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides and herbicides (atrazine, bentazone, chlorinated and nitroaromatic compounds), explosives (TNT, DNT), as well as industrial organic wastes (PCPs, PAHs), metalloids (As, Sb) and inorganic compounds (NO3 ,NH4 +,PO4 3−) (Favas et al. 2019).

Just as pollutants from intense industrial activity accumulate in soil and water, fossil fuels as energy sources have raised atmospheric CO2 to critical levels. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative renewable energy sources in order to minimize environmental impacts. Biomass as an alternative energy source can be harnessed and transformed into ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen cells, and also under microbial fuel cells (MFCs) (Bajwa et al. 2018).

A microbial fuel cell is a promising technology of applying microorganisms as biocatalysts to oxidize organic substrates and transfer their electrons to an anodic surface to produce bioelectricity (Santoro et al. 2017). Several pollutant chemical waste, such as phenol, p-nitrophenol, nitrobenzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, indole, ethanolamine and sulphide, have been used as MFCs oxidizable substrates (Li et al. 2017). Thereby, MFC may provide an effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly route to energy production.

Although microorganisms and plants display potential to remove several pollutants, many compounds exhibit low degradability by applying only biological systems. Thereafter, other procedures can be coupled with the biotechnological process in order to achieve complete pollutant degradation. The electrochemistry is highlighted in the pollutant degradation process, evidencing the interdisciplinary importance in the environmental biotechnology context.

Electrochemistry is based on chemical reactions involving the electric charge transfer across an electrified interface between electronic and ionic conductors (Strasser & Ogasawara 2008). This process has been applied in order to improve the biodegradability of persistent compounds from industrial effluents (e. g. dairy waste, pyrolysis wastewater, vinasse) and sewage treatment, aiming at organic waste mineralization (Markou et al. 2017, Silva et al. 2017, Vilar et al. 2018, Tang et al. 2019).

Overall, this report summarizes plant and conventional microbial procedures applied in environmental biotechnology, as well as its interdisciplinary by coupling methodologies to assist pollutant degradation processes in order to generate clean energy.

Application of omics tools in environmental biotechnology

Approaches applying metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics tools, summarized under the name omics, have contributed to the advancement in environmental biotechnology research. Based on the data high-throughput, omics tools are a key point due to their analytical contribution to determining biodiversity, understanding the effects of toxic chemicals (pollutants) on health and environment by assessing their effects on living organisms and the resulting changes in metabolic, protein, and gene levels (Misra et al. 2018).

In this regard, metagenomics and proteomics studies of microbial systems have been performed to investigate functional genes and protein expression profiles from activated sludge (Zhao et al. 2018), exposure of freshwater and soil samples to heavy metals (Gang et al. 2019), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (Nzila et al. 2018), pesticides (Sineli et al. 2018) and cyanide (Luque-Almagro et al. 2016).

Another relevant point in the metagenomics application is to determine biodiversity in sample-based on environmental DNA (eDNA) to identify prokaryotic and eukaryotic organism species. On the other hand, metatranscriptomics provides data related to the real physiological activity of organisms in the environmental samples by RNA extraction from a microbial community, whose mRNA or cDNA, after sequencing, indicates the protein encoded by a gene, which can express a real or future quantitative or qualitative activity. This tool allows determining potential genes in microorganisms to apply in the bioremediation of environmentally hazardous compounds (Thakur et al. 2018).

Metabolomics in environmental studies aims to characterize an organism's metabolic response to natural or anthropogenic stressors in its environment (Bedia et al. 2018). This tool can be applied to the study of microbial communities in order to discover new metabolites to expand the knowledge on metabolic pathways regarding the microbial consortium application to promote pollutant degradation. Furthermore, metabolomics methods facilitate a better understanding of the toxicant effects on organisms such as plants, animals, and humans by providing a toxicological data concerning living organisms (Kozłowska et al. 2019, Zhou et al. 2019).

Phytoremediation as strategies in the environmental biotechnology

Besides microorganisms, plants are used in contaminated environment remediation processes, called phytoremediation. This method is efficient in remediating a range of environmental pollutants, comprising six different strategies: 1) Phytoextration, involving the plant root used to absorb soil contaminants with contaminant accumulation in plant aerial parts, and subsequent safe; 2) Phytovolatilization, conversion of absorbed soil contaminants in less toxic contaminant vapour; 3) Phytofiltration, plant biomass used to filter pollutants from contaminated water systems; 4) Phytostabilization plants use to stabilize pollutants and reduce their mobility and bioavailability in the surrounding environments and food chain; 5) Phytodegradation, organic xenobiotic absorption by plants, and their degradation by plant enzymes; 6) Rhizodegradation, pollutant degradation in the rhizosphere through microbial activity (Favas et al. 2014).

Phytoremediation displays a high efficiency and cost-effective method to remove contaminants compared to other methods. Although pollutant removal time is longer, phytoremediation is a permanent and efficient solution to remove environmental pollutants compared to other techniques, including heavy metals (Midhat et al. 2019), organic contaminants such as PAHs (Sivaram et al. 2019) and radionuclides (Lee et al. 2019). Despite clear evidence of the phytoremediation effectiveness under many environmental conditions, this biological method for pollutant remediation is still commercially underutilized in the environmental biotechnology field.

Microbial fuel cells and energy

Beyond pollutant remediation, renewable energy generation is another relevant aspect concerning environmental biotechnology, since fossil fuel use as an energy source promotes drastic climate change, altering the earth's habitat. In this context, microbial fuel cell (MFC) may provide an effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly route for energy generation, due to the viable microorganism bio-catalytic capacities to transform the energy stored in the chemical bonds of wastewater compounds to generate electrical current (Logan & Regan 2006).

In an MFC system, exoelectrogenic microorganisms display the ability to facilitate direct and indirect electron transfer. The direct electron transfer requires a physical connection between the bacterial cell and electrode surface by nanowires and/or redox-active proteins. Regarding indirect electron transfers, no physical connection is required, since this mechanism relies on electron shuttling molecules as nanowires, membrane-bound cytochromes and electron mediators (Slate et al. 2019).

Some exoelectrogens bacteria such as Geobacter sp., Shewanella, Pseudomonas and Rhodoferax have been widely studied (Li et al. 2017), while fungal species Debaryomyces hansenii, Aspergillus awamori, Hansenula anomala and Mortierella polycephala (Li et al. 2019) have been used for both contaminants remediation and electricity production. Pollutants waste from pulp, food, brewery/distillery industrial effluents as well as metal-contaminated and swine wastewaters, marine sediments and pesticides have also been successfully used at laboratory level to generate bioelectricity (Li et al. 2017, Li et al. 2019). In addition, toxic chemical waste such as phenol, p-nitrophenol, nitrobenzene, PAHs, indole, ethanolamine, and sulfide have been used as oxidizable substrates for MFCs (Li et al. 2017).

Although MFCs are considered as a potential technology for renewable energy, some disadvantages are reported regarding high costs, low energy production, and limited system life. Therefore, advances in Omics techniques, synthetic biology, as well as further studies with electrogenic and metabolically complementary microbiomes could enable MFCs to become a viable technology in the future.

Coupled electrochemical and biological technologies as a perspective to enhance remediation

Wastewater from diverse sources such as agriculture, industry, hospital and domestic uses could be a potential water resource if appropriate treatment technologies could be developed. The presence of organic micropollutants is one of the barriers to obtaining high-quality water from wastewater arises. Most of the conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have inadequate equipment to entirely remove organic micropollutants at low concentrations, making the treatment processes one of the sources of such pollution (Tijani et al. 2013). Micropollutant concentrations in water range from a few nanograms/liter to several milligrams/liter, and impair the water quality (Kanaujiya et al. 2019).

Furthermore, industrial wastewaters usually present a high concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD), sometimes with the inability to biodegrade due to its toxicity or inhibitory effect on bacterial metabolism. Many of these compounds are refractory and are not removed in the WWTPs, requiring more complex, advanced, and innovative treatment technologies are needed (Miniѐre et al. 2019). In this context, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are reported to be able to efficiently degrade micropollutants and some refractory compounds. Among them, electrochemical advanced oxidation processes have several advantages such as environmental compatibility, versatility, high energy efficiency, amenability to automation, and cost-effectiveness (Martínez-Huitle et al. 2015).

Electrochemical technologies can be applied as an advanced treatment method further to reduce COD or color in the water to achieve relevant effluent standards. However, in order to improve the treatment efficiency, hybrid systems by using electrochemical technologies combined with the biological process have been reported. Thus, the effluent from a biological treatment system can be subjected by electrochemical technologies in order to eliminate all the toxic by-products secreting from the biological system. At this point, industrial effluents, synthetic wastewater, olive washing water, textile effluent, and vinasse, after biological pretreatment were also treated by electro-oxidation and photo-assisted electro-oxidation to mineralize remnant organic compounds (Aravind et al. 2016, Tatoulis et al. 2017, Trellu et al. 2016, Vilar et al. 2018).

Alternatively, electrochemical technologies can be used as a pretreatment step to increase the biodegradability of a pollutant and, consequently, the treatment efficiency of a biological treatment system. In this sense, electro-oxidation pretreatment has been reported to enhance the organic compounds biodegradability (e.g. dyes, pharmaceutical residues) from industrial, pyrolysis wastewaters as well as synthetic wastewaters (He et al. 2017, Silva et al. 2017, Yahiaoui et al. 2016). Coupling electrochemical oxidation to biological treatments to remove persistent residual molecules, such as pre- or post-treatments, in order to mineralize organic compounds as target pollutants and synthetic solution, as well as industrial effluents, provides a high-efficiency rate.

Other electrochemical processes have also been successfully applied as strategies for the treatment of pollutant residues. Therefore, electrochemical technologies have found a niche, in which these processes tend to become dominant in the near future as environmental tools to decrease the accumulation of refractory molecules. Within this framework, several methods can be highlighted, such as electro/Fe3+/peroxidisulfate (Ledjeri et al. 2016), electrochemical dechlorination in an ECCOCEL reactor (Arellano-González et al. 2016), electro-oxidation and oxidation induced by sunlight (Santhanam et al. 2017), direct and indirect electrochemical reduction (Zaghdoudi et al. 2017) and electro-Fenton (Pęziak-Kowalska et al. 2016; Aboudalle et al. 2018a and 2018b).

Further studies focused only on increasing the biodegradability measured as BOD (Pęziak-Kowalska et al. 2016, Aboudalle et al. 2018a), application of activated sludge cultures (Zaghdoudi et al. 2017, Aboudalle et al. 2018b, Pęziak-Kowalska et al. 2019), as well as the use of specific microorganisms (Rajeswari et al. 2016, Silva et al. 2017, Santhanam et al. 2017).

Although some electrochemical procedures have been used in combination with biological processes, several electrochemical techniques were not still used. Thus, this situation opens the opportunity to further development of coupled systems employing electrocoagulation, electroflotation, electrodialysis, and photoassisted systems like photoelectro-Fenton and photoelectrocatalysis. Since the electrochemical advanced oxidation processes are highly efficient for the removal of micropollutants and refractory compounds, their use after biological systems needs to be a future perspective studied intensely.


This review describes some biotechnological tools applied in polluted environments remediation processes, based on the urgency and efforts to implement chemical control measures and their environmental impact. In this context, the importance of molecular biology within the broad omics technology field is addressed, considering the analysis of metabolites, proteins as well as genes of living organisms with potential contribution to bioremediation. Also, some aspects of the phytoremediation mechanism are described as a technology, whose potential must be further studied in order to implement its application. Beside the bioremediation, an MFC overview has been reported as a sustainable and environmentally friendly method to generate renewable energy. Although further studies are required to establish its technological feasibility since its implementation is currently a challenge. Despite the use of biological systems in environmental biotechnology, it is concluded that there is a need for research technology integration from different scientific fields in order to overcome environmental conservation challenges.

Literature cited

Abbasian R, Lockington M, Mallavarapu R, & Naidu R. 2015. A comprehensive review of aliphatic hydrocarbon biodegradation by bacteria. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 176 (3): 670-99. [ Links ]

Aboudalle A, Fourcade F, Assadi AA, Domergue L, Djelal H, Lendormi T, Taha S & Amrane A. 2018a. Reactive oxygen and iron species monitoring to investigate the electro-Fenton performances. Impact of the electrochemical process on the biodegradability of metronidazole and its by-products. Chemosphere 199: 486-494. [ Links ]

Aboudalle A, Djelal H, Fourcade F, Domergue L, Assadi AA, Lendormi T, Taha S & Amrane A. 2018b. Metronidazole removal by means of a combined system coupling an electro-Fenton process and a conventional biological treatment: byproducts monitoring and performance enhancement. Journal of Hazardous Materials 359: 85-95. [ Links ]

Aravind P, Subramanyan V, Ferro S & Gopalakrishnan R. 2016. Eco-friendly and facile integrated biological-cum-photo assisted electrooxidation process for degradation of textile wastewater. Water Research 93: 230-241. [ Links ]

Arellano-González MA, González I & Texier AC. 2016. Mineralization of 2-chlorophenol by sequential electrochemical reductive dechlorination and biological processes. Journal of Hazardous Materials 314: 181-187. [ Links ]

Bajwa DS, Peterson T, Sharma N, Shojaeiarani J & Bajwa SG. 2018. A review of densified solid biomass for energy production. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 96: 296-305. [ Links ]

Favas PJC, Pratas J, Varun M, Paul RD and MS. 2014 Mar 26. Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Metals and Metalloids at Mining Areas: Potential of Native Flora. Environmental Risk Assessment of Soil Contamination. [ Links ]

Favas PJC, Pratas J, Paul MS, Prasad MNV. 2019. Chapter 10 - Remediation of Uranium-Contaminated Sites by Phytoremediation and Natural Attenuation. In: Pandey VC, Bauddh K, editors. Phytomanagement of Polluted Sites. Elsevier. p. 277-300. [ Links ]

Gang H, Xiao C, Xiao Y, Yan W, Bai R, Ding R, Yang Z & Zhao F. 2019. Proteomic analysis of the reduction and resistance mechanisms of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 under long-term hexavalent chromium stress. Environment International 127:94-102. [ Links ]

He H, Huang B, Fu G, Du Y, Xiong D, Lai C & Pan X. 2017. Coupling electrochemical and biological methods for 17α-ethinylestradiol removal from water by different microorganisms. Journal of Hazardous Materials 340: 120-129. [ Links ]

Jariyal M, Jindal V, Mandal K, Gupta VK & Singh B. 2018. Bioremediation of organophosphorus pesticide phorate in soil by microbial consortia. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 159: 310-316. [ Links ]

Jeevanantham S, Saravanan A, Hemavathy RV, Kumar PS, Yaashikaa PR & Yuvaraj D. 2019. Removal of toxic pollutants from water environment by phytoremediation: A survey on application and future prospects. Environmental Technology & Innovation. 13: 264-276. [ Links ]

Kanaujiya DK, Paul T, Sinharoy A & Pakshirajan K. 2019. Biological Treatment Processes for the Removal of Organic Micropollutants from Wastewater: A Review. Current Pollution Reports 5:112-128. [ Links ]

Kozłowska L, Janasik B, Nowicka K. & Wąsowicz W. 2019. A urinary metabolomics study of a Polish subpopulation environmentally exposed to arsenic. Journal of Trace Elements Medicine Biology 54: 44-54. [ Links ]

Ledjeri A, Yahiaoui I & Aissani-Benissad F. 2016. The electro/Fe3þ/peroxydisulfate (PDS) process coupled to activated sludge culture for the degradation of tetracycline. Journal of Environmental Management 184: 249-254. [ Links ]

Lee KY, Lee SH, Lee JE & Lee SY. 2019. Biosorption of radioactive cesium from contaminated water by microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis and Chlorella vulgaris. Journal of Environmental Management 233: 83-88. [ Links ]

Li X, Li Y, Zhao X, Zhang X, Zhao Q, Wang X & Li Y. 2019. Restructured fungal community diversity and biological interactions promote metolachlor biodegradation in soil microbial fuel cells. Chemosphere 221: 735- 749. [ Links ]

Li X, Wang X, Weng L, Zhou Q & Li Y. 2017. Microbial fuel cell for organic contaminated soil remedial application: a review. Energy Technology 5(8): 1156-1164. [ Links ]

Logan BE & Regan JM. 2006. Microbial fuel cells-challenges and applications. Environmental Science & Technology 40(17): 5172-5180. [ Links ]

Luque-Almagro VM, Moreno-Vivián C & Roldán MD. 2016. Biodegradation of cyanide wastes from mining and jewellery industries. Current Opinion Biotechnology 38: 9-13. [ Links ]

Lustosa MA, López JA, Freire KCS, Padilha FF, Hernández-Macedo ML & Cabrera-Padilla RY. 2018. Petroleum hydrocarbon degradation by isolated mangrove bactéria. Revista Peruana de Biología 25 (4): 453-456. [ Links ]

Markou V, Kontogianni MC, Frontistis Z, Tekerlekopoulou AG, Katsaounis A & Vayenas D. 2017. Electrochemical treatment of biologically pre-treated dairy wastewater using dimensionally stable anodes. Journal of Environmental Management 202(1): 217-224. [ Links ]

Martínez-Huitle CA, Rodrigo MA, Sirés I & Scialdone O. 2015. Single and Coupled Electrochemical Processes and Reactors for the Abatement of Organic Water Pollutants: A Critical Review. Chemical Reviews 115 (24): 13362-13407. [ Links ]

Midhat L, Ouazzani N, Hejjaj A, Ouhammou A & Mandi L. 2019. Accumulation of heavy metals in metallophytes from three mining sites (Southern Centre Morocco) and evaluation of their phytoremediation potential. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 169: 150-160. [ Links ]

Miniѐre M, Boutin O & Soric A. 2019. Combination of chemical and biological processes to enhance the treatment of hardly biodegradable matter in industrial wastewater: Selection parameters and performances. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 97: 1361-1370. [ Links ]

Misra BB, Langefeld CD, Olivier M & Cox LA. 2018. Integrated omics: Tools, advances, and future approaches. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 62(1): R21-R45. [ Links ]

Nzila A, Ortega Ramírez C, Musa MM, Sankara S, Basheer C & Li QX. 2018. Pyrene biodegradation and proteomic analysis in Achromobacter xylosoxidans, PY4 strain. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 130: 40-47. [ Links ]

Pandey A, Tripathi PA, Pandey SC & Gangola S. 2019. Omics technology to study bioremediation and respective enzymes. In: P. Bhatt, ed. Smart Bioremediation Technologies. Academic Press, London. Pp. 23-43. [ Links ]

Petsas AS, Vagi MC. 2019. Trends in the Bioremediation of Pharmaceuticals and Other Organic Contaminants Using Native or Genetically Modified Microbial Strains: A Review. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 20(10):787-824. [ Links ]

Pęziak-Kowalska D, Fourcade F, Niemczak M, Amrane A, Chrzanowski Ł, Lota G. 2017. Removal of herbicidal ionic liquids by electrochemical advanced oxidation processes combined with biological treatment. Environmental Technology 38(9):1093-1099. [ Links ]

Pęziak-Kowalska D, Syguda A, Ławniczak Ł, Borkowski A, Fourcade F, Heipieper HJ, Lota G, Chrzanowski Ł. 2019. Hybrid electrochemical and biological treatment of herbicidal ionic liquids comprising the MCPA anion. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 181:172-179. [ Links ]

Rajeswari S, Vidhya S, Sundarapandiyan S, Saravanan P, Ponmariappan S & Vidya K. 2016. Improvement in treatment of soak liquor by combining electro-oxidation and biodegradation. RSC Advances 6: 47220-47228. [ Links ]

Santhanam M, Selvaraj R, Annamalai S & Sundaram M. 2017. Combined electrochemical, sunlight-induced oxidation and biological process for the treatment of chloride containing textile effluent. Chemosphere 186: 1026-1032. [ Links ]

Santoro C, Arbizzani C, Erable B & Ieropoulos I. 2017. Microbial fuel cells: From fundamentals to applications. A review. Journal of Power Sources 356: 225-244. [ Links ]

Silva JR, Santos DS, Santos UR, Eguiluz KI, Salazar-Banda GR, Schneider JK, Krause LC, López JA & Hernández-Macedo ML. 2017. Electrochemical and/or microbiological treatment of pyrolysis wastewater. Chemosphere 185: 145-151. [ Links ]

Sineli PE, Herrera HM, Cuozzo SA & Costa JSD. 2018. Quantitative proteomic and transcriptional analyses reveal degradation pathway of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane and the metabolic context in the actinobacterium Streptomyces sp. M7. Chemosphere 211: 1025-1034. [ Links ]

Sivaram AK, Logeshwaran P, Lockington R, Naidu R & Megharaj M. 2019. Phytoremediation efficacy assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contaminated soilsusing garden pea (Pisum sativum) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Chemosphere 229: 227-235. [ Links ]

Slate AJ, Whitehead KA, Brownson DAC & Banks CE. 2019. Microbial fuel cells: An overview of current technology. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 101: 60-81. [ Links ]

Tang J, Zhang C, Shi X, Sun J & Cunningham JA. 2019. Municipal wastewater treatment plants coupled with electrochemical, biological and bio- electrochemical technologies: Opportunities and challenge toward energy self-sufficiency. Journal of Environmental Management 234: 396-403. [ Links ]

Tatoulis T, Stefanakis A, Frontistis Z, Akratos CS, Tekerlekopoulou AG, Mantzavinos D & Vayenas DV. 2017. Treatment of table olive washing water using trickling filters, constructed wetlands and electrooxidation. Environmental Science Pollution Research International 24: 1085-1092. [ Links ]

Thakur B, Yadav R, Fraissinet-Tachet L, Marmeisse R, Sudhakara-Reddy M. 2018. Isolation of multi-metal tolerant ubiquitin fusion protein from metal polluted soil by metatranscriptomic approach. Journal of Microbiological Methods 152: 119-125. [ Links ]

Tijani JO, Fatoba OO & Petrik LF. 2013. A review of pharmaceuticals and endocrine-disrupting compounds: sources, effects, removal, and detections. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 224 (11):1770. [ Links ]

Trellu C, Ganzenko O, Papirio S, Pechaud Y, Oturan N, Huguenot D, van Hullebusch ED, Esposito G & Oturan MA 2016. Combination of anodic oxidation and biological treatment for the removal of phenanthrene and Tween 80 from soil washing solution. Chemical Engineering Journal 306: 588-596. [ Links ]

Vallero DJ. 2016. Environmental Biotechnology: An Overview. In: DJ Vallero, ed. Environmental Biotechnology. A Biosystems Approach. Academic Press, London. pp. 1-40. [ Links ]

Varjani SJ. 2017. Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Bioresource Technology 223: 277-286. [ Links ]

Verma S & Kuila A. 2019. Bioremediation of heavy metals by microbial process. Environmental Technology & Innovation 14: 100369. [ Links ]

Vilar DS, Carvalho GO, Pupo MMS, Aguiar MM, Torres NH, Américo JHP, Cavalcanti EB, Eguiluz KIB, Salazar-Banda GR, Leite MS, et al. 2018. Vinasse degradation using Pleurotus sajor-caju in a combined biological - Electrochemical oxidation treatment. Separation and Purification Technology. 192:287-296. [ Links ]

Yahiaoui I, Aissani-Benissad F, Fourcade F & Amrane A. 2016. Enhancement of the biodegradability of a mixture of dyes (methylene blue and basic yellow 28) using the electrochemical process on a glassy carbon electrode. Desalination and Water Treatment, 57: 12316-12323. [ Links ]

Zaghdoudi M, Fourcade F, Soutrel I, Floner D, Amrane A, Maghraoui-Meherzi H & Geneste F. 2017. Direct and indirect electrochemical reduction prior to a biological treatment for dimetridazole removal. Journal of Hazardous Materials 335: 10-17. [ Links ]

Zhao J, Li Y, Li Y, Yu Z & Chen X. 2018. Effects of 4-chlorophenol wastewater treatment on sludge acute toxicity, microbial diversity and functional genes expression in an activated sludge process. Bioresource Technology 265:39-44. [ Links ]

Zhou X, Li Y, Li H, Yang Z, Zuo C. 2019. Responses in the crucian carp (Carassius auratus) exposed to environmentally relevant concentration of 17α-Ethinylestradiol based on metabolomics. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 183:109501. [ Links ]

Fuentes de financiamiento / Funding:

The authors thank the BNB/FUNDECI (Grant ETENE / FUNDECI 01/2015); Brazilian National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development-CNPq (grants: 305438/2018-2, and 310282/2013-6); Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - CAPES (grant 001) and to Sergipe State Research and Technological Innovation Foundation (FAPITEC/SE) for the scholarships and financial support for this work.

Aspectos éticos / legales; Ethics / legals:

There are no ethics or legal aspects to declare


Hernández-Macedo ML, López JA, Barrios Eguiluz KI, Salazar-Banda GR. 2020. Environmental Biotechnology: Challenges and perspectives in applying combined technologies to enhance remediation and renewable energy generation. I Congreso Internacional de Biotecnología e innovación (ICBi), Revista peruana de biología número especial 27(1): - 000 (Marzo 2020). doi:

*Corresponding author:

Conflicto de intereses / Competing interests:

There are no conflicts to declare

Rol de los autores / Authors Roles:

MLHM, JAL, KIBE and GRSB contributed to the writing, preparation, revision and edition of the original manuscript

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License