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"Microbes can do anything they
want, wherever they want - without
microbes, humans wouldn't be
Microbes include a diverse group of
simple life-forms such as
Microorganisms live in all parts of the
biosphere where there is liquid water,
including soil, hot springs, on the
ocean floor, high in the atmosphere
and deep inside rocks within the
Scientific study of these
microorganisms is termed as
It is concerned with the structure,
function, and classification of these
organisms and with ways of
controlling and using their
Though pathogenic microbes are
harmful, as they invade and grow
within other organisms, causing
diseases that kill humans, other
animals and plants, they provide
many welfare to the human
In addition, means of
channeling the activities of
various microorganisms to
benefit human lives have
been discovered. Molds, for
example, produce antibiotics,
Decomposition (or rotting) is the
process by which organic material is
broken down into simpler forms of
One can differentiate abiotic from
biotic decomposition (biodegradation).
The former means "degradation of a
substance by chemical or physical
processes, eg: hydrolysis. The latter one
means "the metabolic breakdown of
materials into simpler components by
living organisms", typically by
Various sciences study the
decomposition of bodies under the
general rubric of forensics because the
usual motive for such studies is to
determine the time and cause of death
for legal purposes.
Microbes are critical to the processes of
decomposition required to cycle
nitrogen and other elements back to the
Methanogenesis or biomethanation is
the formation of methane by microbes
known as methanogens. The
production of methane is an
important and widespread form of
microbial metabolism. In most
environments, it is the final step in the
decomposition of biomass.
MICROBES IN PRODUCTION OF BIOGAS:
Biogas is a mixture of gases (containing
predominantly methane) produced by
the microbes and which
may be used as fuel.
Certain bacteria, which grow
anaerobically on cellulosic material,
produce large amount of methane along
with CO2 and H2. These bacteria are
collectively called methanogens, and one
such common bacterium is
-These bacteria are found in the anaerobic sludge
during sewage treatment. These bacteria are also
present in the rumen (a part of stomach) of cattle.
-A lot of cellulosic material present in the food of
cattle is also present in the rumen. In rumen, these
bacteria help in the breakdown of cellulose and play
an important role in the nutrition of cattle.
-Thus, the excreta (dung) of cattle, commonly called
gobar, is rich in these bacteria. Dung can be used for
generation of biogas, commonly called gobar gas.
The biogas plant consists of a
concrete tank (10-15 feet deep) in
which bio-wastes are collected and
slurry of dung is fed.
A floating cover is placed over the
slurry, which keeps on rising as the
gas is produced in the tank due to
the microbial activity.
The biogas plant has an outlet,
which is connected to a pipe to
supply biogas to nearby houses.
The spent slurry is removed through another outlet and
may be used as fertilizer. Cattle dung is available in
large quantities in rural areas where cattle are used for
a variety of purposes.
So biogas plants are more after build in rural areas. The
biogas thus produced is used for cooking and lighting.
Stages in anaerobic digestion:
Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in
which microorganisms break down biodegradable
material in the absence of oxygen. It is used for
industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste
and/or to release energy.
The solid, fibrous
component of the
digested material can
be used as a soil
conditioner to increase
the organic content of
It can be used as a
manure to the plants.
Biogas is a lean gas that can, in principle,
be used like other fuel gas for household
industrial purposes, especially for:
· Gas cookers/stoves
· Biogas lamps
· Radiant heaters
Using anaerobic digestion technologies can help to
reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in a number
of key ways:
Replacement of fossil fuels.
Reducing or eliminating the energy footprint of
waste treatment plants.
Reducing methane emission from landfills.
Displacing industrially produced chemical fertilizers.
Reducing vehicle movements.
Reducing electrical grid transportation losses.
Generation of Oxygen in the
Recycling nutrients stored in
organic matter to an
Fix nitrogen from the
Atmosphere into a Useable
Give Plant Roots Access to
Nutrients in the Soil.
Allow Herbivores to
Consume Poor Quality Food.
Involve in BIOGEOCHEMICAL
cycles such as N2 ,O2,K,S
Degradation of oil spills.
Wastewater treatment uses
microbes to decompose
organic matter in sewage.
Biofertilizers- are the
organisms that enrich the
nutrient quality of the soil.
Microorganisms can form an endosymbiotic
relationship with other, larger organisms. For
example, the bacteria that live within the
human digestive system contribute to gut
immunity, synthesize vitamins such as folic
acid and biotin, and ferment complex
May 23, 2011:
Using bacteria to generate
energy is a significant step
closer following a
breakthrough discovery by
scientists at the University of
East Anglia (UEA).This can
be used to generate power.
March 1, 2012:
“The research provides
some of the first tangible
details about the
leafcutter ants, fungi and