Benefits of biofilms
Biofilms are aggregates of bacteria or several microorganisms that stick with each other on a particular surface whether considered living or non-living. ‘Â They differ from so-called planktons which may be of the same organism family and are able to be in a liquid type of media. ‘Â Biofilms may also involve only one type of organism or may be a combination of different microorganisms. ‘Â Although bacteria may not have good reputation, creating biofilms is actually useful in a variety of ways. ‘Â The following are benefits of biofilms:
1. Treatment of waste water
In the water sewage system, bacteria are literally present in the water. ‘Â With biofilms though, the germs in the water may actually be cleaned out. ‘Â Usually the biofilms are grown on the rocks or other plastic surfaces where the waste water will flow. ‘Â And with the biofilm present, the bacteria aggregates will then help clean out the water. ‘Â In this particular example, biofilms function like water filters and literally take out the waste materials from it.
Bioremediation is a process wherein an altered state of a particular substance for example is returned to the environment in its natural state. ‘Â Biofilms in this sense are also useful in cases of oil spills in the ocean for example. ‘Â The bacteria present in the biofilm will function to break down the particles of the oil and in this way will separate various molecules and eventually lead to the separation of these particles and returning them into their original state. ‘Â In this way, the separated particles may easily be removed from the environment.
3. Prevent environmental degradation
Biofilms are also often used to protect the natural environment from decaying through contamination. ‘Â With the use of multiple bacteria and microorganisms, some kind of shield will be created to protect the soil and the water below from chemical or bacterial contamination.
Biofilms can provide the benefits above if they are controlled and created properly and in a safe environment. ‘Â The main objective is to have the microorganisms achieve uniform exposure to get the best physical contact to the intended surface.