What are the differences between biodegradation and bioremediation?  

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Biodegradation is the biological process in which a material is biologically degraded. It is a natural process, that takes place without human intervention. Bioremediation is the engineered process of application of biological means (including bacteria, algae, fungi, etc.) to degrade a material. Biodegradation is a slow process process, while bioremediation is a faster process. Human intervention is used to control the rate of bioremediation, by control of temperature, availability of food or nutrients, etc. Biodegradation, on the other hand, is controlled by nature. Biodegradation takes place anywhere and everywhere, while bioremediation is planned at a contaminated site. Biodegradation can be both beneficial or harmful (such as degradation of metals in biofouling), while bioremediation is designed to be beneficial to us.

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