How can new insights into the capabilities of the microbiome be translated into practical engineering designs for contaminant removal through microbial biotransformation?

Considering new insights from advanced chemical analysis and –omic techniques, this working group will discuss opportunities and limitations to design next-generation treatment systems that will take advantage of the full capability of a biological system to attenuate trace organic chemicals. This might include also approaches to tune conditions or introduce targeted functionalities into engineered water and wastewater treatment systems. Specifically, the following questions will be monitored throughout the conference: What opportunities exist from a design and operational standpoint to modify factors that govern the observed biotransformation capacity of microbial communities? Is there the possibility of engineering massive propagation of beneficial genes/activities through the environmental microbiome for large-scale bioremediation interventions? Do current design approaches hinder the integration or adaptation of these new concepts? What are potential unintended consequences? What systems would provide easy opportunities to adapt new design principles?