Enhancement of degradation or bioremediation may be achieved either by (1) adding microorganisms capable of degrading the test compound (inoculation) into the environment or (2) adding inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus to stimulate degradation by indigenous bacteria present in the environment.
Soils, sediments, marine, and freshwater all contain readily metabolizable organic matter. However, when a potentially degradable pollutant at sufficiently high concentration is introduced into the environment, the environment may become deficient in nutrients other than C. Addition of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus then stimulates the microorganisms present in that environment to degrade the pollutant at a faster rate. In situations like these bioremediation may be achieved by just adding fertilizers containing N and P.
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