Introduction of the Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research group at BME

The Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research group at BME has worked for more than 25 years in environmental risk management associated topics, namely environmental risk assessment and development of environmental risk mitigation technologies. The group members have manifold experience in the quantitative environmental risk assessment of chemical substances and in the development of ecotoxicity tests applicable to soil and water. Another important research area of the group is the complex environmental risk management of sites contaminated with metals and/or organic substances and the development of new environmental-friendly remediation technologies. The group has established the dynamically developing ENFO Environmental Knowledge Base, the Database and the Decision Support Tool the aim of which was making easily available for everyone the knowledge accumulated during the years.

This Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research group is the centre of environmental risk assessment and soil remediation in Hungary. Its reference works, in collaboration with various partners, include bioremediation (i.e. enhanced bioremediation with cyclodextrin) of several hydrocarbon contaminated sites, environmental risk assessment of the Gyöngyösoroszi sulphide ore mining site and development of a combined chemical and phytoremediation technology, environmental risk assessment of the Ajka red mud flood-affected area, development of cyclodextrin-based water treatment technologies, development of soil amelioration technologies with waste utilisation and development of landfill cover systems utilising suitable wastes. The group has developed integrated monitoring methodologies for environmental risk assessment, amongst which the soil microbiological and ecotoxicity methods able to characterise the actual risk of contaminants have gained special attention. The group has developed various direct contact soil tests and water ecotoxicity tests applying several sub-lethal endpoints with test organisms from several trophic levels, such as bacteria  (ex. Aliivibrio fischeriSalmonella typhimurium mutagenicity test), plants (ex. Lemna minor), single cell- (ex. Tetrahymena pyriformis) and multicellular (ex. Daphnia magna, Heterocypris incongruens, Folsomia candia – Collembola) animals.

The group is involved in the teaching of the following disciplines for the bio-enginneering and environmental engineering specialisation at BME: environmental risk management, soil remediation, soil protection, environmental microbiology, environmental toxicology and in the supervision of individual student works, Bachelor theses and Master theses.