The scope of environmental biotechnology is very broad, ranging from genetic engineering to bioengineering process control. Its application in pollution abatement and waste treatment has been extensive and the largest biotechnological processes are biological waste treatment processes for organic carbon and nutrient removal. As the biological processes, both at the physiological and molecular level, are better understood, the opportunities for development of sophisticated treatment processes and environmental monitoring and analysis are increasingly recognised. The last two decades have seen increasing application of biotechnological processes for the treatment of pollutants hitherto considered recalcitrant or toxic. Environmental Biotechnology '96 focused on the exploitation of biodegradation mechanisms for the treatment of difficult to degrade pollutants and for the analysis of such treatment systems. These proceedings constitute a significant step in the continued development of environmental biotechnology and its exploitation for sustainable environmental management.
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