Greenovating the way we clean
WHEN ONE TALKS ABOUT BACTERIA, one normally thinks about food poisoning from a Salmonella outbreak or maybe Leptospirosis caused by bacteria Leptospira from ingesting contaminated food or water or perhaps even the bacteria Listeria which made headlines this year when Malaysia was forced to ban the import of Californian apples due to its contamination.
Despite its ill effects, did you know that bacteria can also be beneficial not just for health purposes but also for the environment?
On March 24, 1989 at 12.04 am, about 11,000,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled at Prince William Sound Alaska when the 987-foot long oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck the Prince William Sound’s Blight Reef. It was considered one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters.
The oil spill covered 1,300 miles of a beautiful coastline which served as the natural habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals and seabirds
When the Exxon Valdez spill occurred, bioremediation was used broadly for the clean-up of the oil spill. The process involved adding fertilizers containing nitrogen nutrients to accelerate the rates of oil biodegradation.
Even though the technique has gained traction in more recent years treating other human-related environmental disasters – the Prestige oil spill in Spain in 2002 and the spill into the Mediterranean from Lebanon power plant in 2006 – it has actually been around for quite a long time and was actually first discovered by the Romans as early as 600 BCE where it is used to treat waste water.
From massive oil spillage to the improper disposal of chemical waste and electronic goods, the ecosystem is challenged everyday by the release of toxic substances into the environment.
With increased awareness of how harmful cleaning products can be on the environment one of the least harmful and natural way is through bioremediation.
Bioremediation is defined as the use of a biological agent to remove or neutralise contaminants from a contaminated site. During the oil spill, friendly microorganisms were used to turn the harmful contaminants into harmless substances.
Simply put, the bacteria began to feed on the oil, releasing carbon dioxide and other substances safely back into the environment.
On January 28th 2015, in conjunction with the third International Energy Week, Dr Watson Ariyaphuttarat, the founder of Keeen Limited gave a talk during a short seminar session on how bioremediation can help in the natural process of cleaning up contaminants to avoid pollution.
According to Dr. Watson, bioremediation has been studied from as early as the 1950s where articles and journals have been published to discuss the advantages of bioremediation in cleaning up contaminants.
Compared to other methods of disposal like incineration, landfills or usage of chemicals for treatment that may have toxic effects, bioremediation is a ‘natural way’ to treat pollutants where they are broken down the contaminants, releasing nontoxic substances into the environment, leaving minimal impact on the environment.
Keeen, via its official sole distributor PJ Energy Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (PJ Energy) was officially launched on January 28 and will be officially distributed in Malaysia and Brunei, providing us with a greener solution to dealing with industrial waste.
During the exhibition of the International Energy Week held at BCCK from January 27 till 29, Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg suggested that local authorities considered using bioremediation technique for its natural process of cleaning up natural chemicals in the environment.