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Environmental biotechnology for sustainability.

Authors
  • Verstraete, W
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Biotechnology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Mar 14, 2002
Volume
94
Issue
1
Pages
93–100
Identifiers
PMID: 11792454
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the post-industrial society, waste management is integrated in the concepts of responsibility, reliability and continuity. Therefore industry and public office are obliged to implement the concepts of structured environmental management systems more and more strictly. The endpoints are dependent on the type of wastes and on the priorities set by society. They will with time evolve towards more restriction of all kinds of emissions. This will require increasing inputs of labour, information technology and energy into waste treatment and overall waste management. Particularly for aqueous and gaseous wastes that are not contained, continuously improving treatment with maximum re-use and minimum dissipation in the ecosphere will be the trend of the future. Moreover, the public in general and the individual citizen in particular will request to have (bio)assays to monitor regularly and autonomously the quality of his environment. Such advanced waste management requires considerable energy input. It thus may come in conflict with current concerns about CO2-emissions and the Kyoto agreements. Innovative approaches to combine waste management and the International Climate Change Partnership (ICCP) directives, for instance by implementing biological carbon sequestration, are therefore warranted. Biotechnology has a major role to play particularly in terms of advanced treatment down to ng/l-levels and in terms of validating the quality of the environment by means of powerful and intelligent bio-monitoring devices.

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