Soil mycoremediation is a bioremediation process during which a contaminated soil is being treated by and cured through the action of fungal metabolism. Its implementation consists of the on site treatment of excavated soil via fungal bioaugmentation within a biopile.
Why use fungi for bioremediation?
Fungi, or more commonly called mushrooms, are a diverse group of organisms and are ubiquitous in the environment. They can exist and survive in almost every habitat, and play vital roles in all ecosystems. Nowadays, their contribution extends to various industrial purposes.
In particular, wood-decay fungi have the remarkable ability to degrade the most recalcitrant molecules produced in nature, such as wood lignin. It has been discovered that those mushrooms produce enzymes that are also able to degrade recalcitrant man-made chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), heavy mineral oil hydrocarbons (C10-C40) and other toxic xenobiotics. Thus, this bioremediation process constitutes an interesting solution to restore industrial and historically polluted sites.