91818 Environmental Biotechnology6cp; 1–2hpw (lecture), 2hpw (practical), 1–2hpw (occasional workshop)
Requisite(s): 91142 Biotechnology
The environment supports the globe that society depends on for both the resources we consume and the sustainable removal of waste from production. We exist in cities and towns with wastewater issues, energy needs, industries and pollutants. Environmental biotechnology is defined broadly as the application of biotechnology to the natural environment. Biotechnologists need to understand the environment so they can invent tools to generate sustainable raw materials for industry and consumption. This includes the use of biological systems to remediate contaminated environments, generate renewable energy, conduct environmental monitoring, or generate valuable products or biomass.
This subject focuses on understanding how to improve environmental quality through the use of microbes in the remediation of soils and in the clean-up of industrial waste and contaminated water. By understanding the basics of the microbial ecology of various microorganisms, and the various habitats, a strategy for bioremediation can be adapted. In addition, the emerging bioeconomy (eg biofuels) is explored in this course, and the valuable products that can be generated.
Detailed subject description.