Bacteria and fungi can break down a large range of substances. What is toxic to one organism can be used as food by another. Purification of wastewater makes use of this principle.
Millions of bacteria and fungi species live in the soil. Most of them occur in minute quantities because the local soil environment favours only a limited number of species. These species grow fastest and gobble up all the food available.
A soil sample containing microorganisms can be offered wastewater as its sole source of food. Only those bacteria and fungi able to digest the waste will start growing. In this way, a tool able to convert wastewater into harmless waste products will be created in a biological way.
Click here for a schematic explanation of the technology.