For the past twenty years, I have worked in the field of biological waste treatment and have often used bioaugmentation as an operational tool. Similar to adding select yeasts in producing wine or bread, waste treatment professionals can add a "seed" culture to water or soils to supplement the indigenous microbes with beneficial microbes. These beneficial microbes are selected for a number of reasons including:
By adding select cultures to a working waste treatment system, operators can adjust the biomass to meet target treatment goals without the time delay or unexpected results often seen as the indigenous microbes adjust to the environment or changing waste stream.
The bioaugmentation seed culture is developed after laboratory testing and must meet criteria for stabilty, biosafety, and ability to adapt to changing conditions. After selecting the cultures, the individual microbes are grown and stabilized using techniques similar to those used to produce antibiotics and other pharmaceutical compounds. The pure microbes are then stabilized on various carriers for preservation until applied by operators.
Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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