Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental Biotechnology, 1st Edition

A Biosystems Approach

Environmental Biotechnology, 1st Edition,Daniel Vallero,ISBN9780123750891


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Key Features

* Provides a systems approach to biotechnologies which includes the physical, biological, and chemical processes in context

* Case studies include cutting-edge technologies such as nanobiotechnologies and green engineering

* Addresses both the applications and implications of biotechnologies by following the life-cycle of a variety of established and developing biotechnologies


For more than a century, biotechnology has acted as a vital buffer among people, pollution and the environment. The field is designed to moderate, if not eliminate, the stresses we inflict upon the world's ecosystems. To do this effectively, a systems approach must be employed to maximize the sustainability of our efforts and improve the long-term health our environment. This book addresses the questions of how and why knowledge and understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological principles of the environment must be achieved for the effective development of biotechnology applications. Using a systems biology approach, Environmental Biotechnology provides a context for researchers and practitioners in environmental science. It serves to complement the useful guidebooks that provide the necessary specifications and criteria for a wide range of environmental designs and applications by providing the underlying principles for the specifications, a crucial area to scientific researchers in this arena to develop further technologies.


researchers in environmental biology, nanotechnology, systems biology and microbiology; environmental engineers; scientists at engineering and remediation companies and public organizations; practitioners in applied biology fields; graduate and post-doctoral students in these areas of science

Daniel Vallero

Dan Vallero is an internationally recognized expert in the transport, chemical transformation and environmental fate of hazardous pollutants. His three decades of professional experience in hazardous waste engineering and management have included research, teaching and regulatory advice related to a wide range of human health risk and ecological issues, from global climate change to the release of hazardous products of incomplete combustion from waste incinerators to the assessment of the risks from exposures to environmental endocrine disruptors. Dr. Vallero recently established the Engineering Ethics program at Duke University. This innovative program introduces students to the complex relationships between science, technology and societal demands on the engineer. The lessons learned from the cases in this book are a fundamental part of Duke’s preparation of its future engineers to address the ethical dilemmas likely to be encountered during the careers of the next generation engineers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

View additional works by Daniel Vallero

Environmental Biotechnology, 1st Edition

Biochemodynamics: A Systems Approach to Environmental Biotechnology

Daniel A. Vallero, Ph.D.


Chapter 1: Environmental Biotechnology: An Overview
Assessing the Biotechnological Impacts
Biotechnology and Bioengineering
nbsp;Discussion Box: Little Things Matter in a Chaotic World
The Environmental Biotechnology Discipline
nbsp;nbsp;Biotechnology and Society
Risk and Reliability: Some Forethought
Beyond Biotechnological Applications
Oh No!
The Science of Environmental Biotechnology
Boxes and Envelopes
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 2: A Question of Balance: Using versus Abusing Biological Systems
nbsp;Environmental Biomimicry
nbsp;Engineered Systems Inspired by Biology
Environmental Biochemodynamics
nbsp;Biophile Cycling
nbsp;nbsp;Carbon Sequestration in Soil
nbsp;nbsp;Active Sequestration
Nitrogen and Sulfur Biochemodynamics
Review Questions
Notes and Resources

Chapter 3: Environmental Biochemodynamic Processes
Cellular Thermodynamics
nbsp;nbsp;Importance of Free Energy in Microbial Metabolism
nbsp;nbsp;Phase Partitioning
nbsp;Thermodynamics in Abiotic and Biotic Systems
nbsp;nbsp;Volatility/Solubility/Density Relationships
nbsp;nbsp;Environmental Balances
nbsp;nbsp;Persistent Bioaccumulating Toxic Substances
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: The Inuit and Persistent Organic Pollutants
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Extrinsic Factors
nbsp;Biochemodynamic Persistence and Half-Life
nbsp;Fugacity, Z Values, and Henry’s Law
nbsp;nbsp;Aerodynamic and Hydrodynamic Dispersion
nbsp;Overall Effect of the Fluxes, Sinks and Sources
nbsp;Biochemodynamic Transport Models
nbsp;Level 1 Model
Level 2 Model
Level 3 Model
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 4: Systems
nbsp;Biotechnological Systems
nbsp;Putting Biology to Work
nbsp;Systems Synergies: Biotechnological Analysis
nbsp;Using Bioindicators
nbsp;Relationship between Green Engineering and Biotechnology
nbsp;Review Questions

Chapter 5: Environmental Risks of Biotechnologies
Estimating Biotechnological Risks
Exposure Estimation
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Exposure Calculation
nbsp;Direct Bioengineering Risk Calculations
Discussion Box: Cancer Risk Calculation
Discussion Box: Non-cancer Risk Calculation
Risk-based cleanup standards
Discussion Box: Treatment by Genetic Modification
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Risk-Based Contaminant Cleanup
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Biotechnical Communications
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 6: Reducing Biotechnological Risks
nbsp;nbsp;Case Study Box: Genetic Biocontrols of Invaders
nbsp;Discussion Box: Discussion Box: Biochemodynamics of Pharmaceuticals
nbsp;Risk Causes
nbsp;nbsp;Biographical Box: Sir Bradford Hill
nbsp;Case Study Box: Managing Risks by Distinguishing between Progenitor and Genetically Modified Microbes
nbsp;Failure: Human Factors Engineering
nbsp;nbsp;Utility as a Measure of Success
nbsp;nbsp;Failure Type 1: Mistakes and Miscalculations
Failure Type 2: Extraordinary Natural Circumstances
Failure Type 3: Critical Path
Failure Type 4: Negligence
Failure Type 5: Lack of Imagination
Bioterrorism: Bad Biotechnology
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 7: Applied Microbial Ecology: Bioremediation
Systematic View of Oxygen
Biodegradation and Bioremediation
Biochemodynamics of Biodegradation
nbsp;nbsp;Off-site Treatment
Discussion Box: Biochemodynamic Films
Aerobic Biodegradation
nbsp;nbsp;Trickling Filter
Activated Sludge
Aeration Ponds
Anaerobic Biodegradation
Multimedia-Multiphase Bioremediation
Bioengineering Considerations for Genetically Modified Organisms
nbsp;Discussion Box: Measuring Biodegradation Success
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Nitric Oxide as an Indicator of Degradation
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Humility in Biotechnological Modeling
nbsp;Developing an Indirect, Chemical Model of Microbial Activity
Model Comparison to Laboratory Study for Toluene Degradation
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 8: Biotechnological Implications: A Systems Approach
nbsp;Systematic View of Biotechnological Risks
nbsp;Applied Thermodynamics
nbsp;Predicting Environmental Implications
nbsp;Environmental Implications of Engineering Organisms
nbsp;Genetic Engineering Basics
nbsp;nbsp;Conventional Breeding Approaches
nbsp;nbsp;Modification of Organisms without Introducing Foreign DNA
Modification of Organisms by Introducing Foreign DNA
Transfected DNA
Vector-borne DNA
Environmental Aspects of Cisgenic and Transgenic Organisms
Foreign DNA in Plants
Biochemodynamic Flow of Modified Genetic Material
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 9: Environmental Risks of Biotechnologies: Economic Sector Perspectives
nbsp;Industrial Biotechnology
nbsp;nbsp;Production of Enzymes
nbsp;nbsp;The Organism
nbsp;nbsp;Health and Safety Regulations
nbsp;nbsp;Environmental Implications
nbsp;Medical Biotechnology
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Patenting Life
nbsp;nbsp;Bio-Uptake and Bioaccumulation
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Hormonally Active Agents
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Determining Estrogenicity
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Environmental Fate of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Treatment of EDCs in Drinking Water - UV applications
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Modeling the UV/H2O2 Process
nbsp;nbsp;Environmental Implications
nbsp;nbsp;Animal Biotechnology
nbsp;Agricultural Biotechnology
Discussion Box: “King Corn or Frankencorn”
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Genetic Modification
nbsp;nbsp;Gene Flow
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 10: Addressing Biotechnological Pollutants
nbsp;Cleaning Up Biotechnological Operations
Intervention at the Source of Contamination
Intervention at the Point of Release
Intervention during Transport
Intervention to Control the Exposure
Intervention at the Point of Response
Thermal Treatment of Biotechnological Wastes
Calculating Destruction Removal
Other Thermal Strategies
Nitrogen and Sulfur Problems
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 11: Analyzing the Environmental Implications of Biotechnologies
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Biological Agent: Stachybotrys
Life Cycle as an Analytical Methodology
nbsp;Revisiting Failure and Blame
nbsp;Environmental Accountability
nbsp;Life Cycle Applications
Utility and the Benefit/Cost Analysis
Predicting Environmental Damage
nbsp;nbsp;Analysis of Biotechnological Implications
nbsp;nbsp;Checklist for Ethical Decision Making
Review Questions
Notes and Commentary

Chapter 12: Managing Biotechnologies
nbsp;Bioengineering Perspectives
nbsp;Systematic Biotechnology and the Status Quo
nbsp;A Few Words about Environmental Ethics
nbsp;Biotechnology Decision Tools
nbsp;nbsp;Informing Decisions
nbsp;Green Engineering and Biotechnology
nbsp;Green Engineering and Biotechnology
nbsp;nbsp;Discussion Box: Probability and Biotechnology
nbsp;Risk Homeostasis and the Theory of Offsetting Behavior
nbsp;Review Questions
nbsp;Notes and Commentary
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

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