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Eco-Friendly Cleanup Crews: Microbial Systems in the Battle Against Emerging Pollutants

Edited by:
Shashi Kant Bhatia, PhD, Konkuk University, South Korea
Sujit Jagtap, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America
Sachin Kumar, PhD, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, India
Ajaya Kumar Rout, PhD, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, India

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 31 October 2024

Biotechnology for the Environment is calling for submissions to our Collection on Eco-Friendly Cleanup Crews: Microbial Systems in the Battle Against Emerging Pollutants. 

Image credits: GregorBister / Getty Images / iStock


New Content ItemThis collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

About the Collection

In a world marked by the persistent emergence of diverse and often complex pollutants, the special issue on “Eco-Friendly Cleanup Crews: Microbial Systems in the Battle Against Emerging Pollutants” aspires to comprehensively address the critical need for innovative, sustainable, and adaptable solutions to combat environmental pollution. Emerging pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, plastics, and emerging contaminants from urban runoff and agriculture, have permeated our ecosystems at unprecedented rates. These pollutants pose a formidable threat to the natural world, human health, and the integrity of ecosystems. Traditional methods for pollutant removal, such as chemical treatments, have often proven inadequate and unsustainable, necessitating the exploration of alternative, eco-friendly approaches. This issue seeks to not only shed light on the pivotal role of microbial systems in mitigating emerging pollutants but also to explore the holistic implications of these technologies for the environment, human health, and global sustainability.

Authors are encouraged to submit original research articles, comprehensive reviews, in-depth case studies, and insightful opinion pieces that align closely with the aim and scope of this special issue. This special issue will cover different topics related to advancements in microbial role in emerging pollutant removal and include a series of research and review articles covering, but not limited, to the following issues:

  • Mining microbial species for degrading or converting emerging pollutants.
  • Investigation of enzymatic and metabolic processes for emerging pollutant removal.
  • Microbial Consortia structure and design for bioremediation Bioaugmentation strategies to enhance pollutant removal in contaminated environments.
  • Application of genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create tailored microbial systems for pollutant degradation.
  • Innovative technologies for monitoring and assessing the performance of microbial cleanup crews in real-time.
  • Case Studies of successful implementations of microbial systems for pollution removal.
  • Circular economy and green technologies for pollutant removal.
  • Impact of pollutant removal strategies on human health, both from a public health and occupational perspective.
  • Commercial and industrial applications of microbial systems in addressing emerging pollutants.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Shashi Kant Bhatia, PhD, Konkuk University, South Korea

Dr. Shashi Kant Bhatia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea, and has more than ten years of experience in the area of biowastes valorization into bioplastic, bioenergy, and biochemicals. Dr. Bhatia has contributed extensively to the industrial press and serving as editor-in-chief in Biotechnology for Sustainable Materials, and editorial board member of Biotechnology for Biofuel and Bioproducts, Microbial Cell Factories, Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, Carbohydrate Polymer Technology and Applications, Bioprocess and Biosystem Engineering, Sustainability, Energies, Frontier in Microbiology, 3 Biotech and PLOS One journal. He has published more than 200 research and review articles on industrial biotechnology, bioenergy production, biomaterial, biotransformation, microbial fermentation, and enzyme technology in international scientific peer-reviewed journals, edited 5 books, and holds 15 international patents. He was selected to the Top 2% Scientist List of Stanford University. He earned an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in biotechnology at Himachal Pradesh University (India). He has qualified JNU combined biotechnology entrance, DBT-JRF, GATE, CSIR exams. Dr. Bhatia has worked as a Brain Pool Post Doc Fellow at Konkuk University (2014–2016), South Korea.

Sujit Jagtap, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Dr. Sujit Jagtap is a Research Scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Center, the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Illinois, USA. He has expertise in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. His current research focuses on understanding a physiology and engineering non-model organisms for the industrial-scale production of biofuels and bioproducts.  Dr. Jagtap's research at CABBI emphasizes breakthroughs in sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts, aiming to replace fossil fuel-based products and contribute to the U.S. transition to a new bio-based economy. The U.S. Department of Energy has supported his work. Dr. Jagtap has authored over 34 peer-reviewed research articles, 3 book chapters, and 3 patents. He has contributed significantly to the academic community, serving as an Associate Editor and Editor for several journals, including Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts, Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers in Energy Research, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Fermentation, and Biotechnology for the Environment.

Sachin Kumar , PhD, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, India

Dr. Sachin Kumar is a Scientist in the Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India. He received his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, India, and joined the Agricultural Research Service of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 2015. Dr. Kumar pursued post-doctoral training in 2019 at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO) Agriculture and Food, Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Kumar served as an expert of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in the Expert Meeting on “Alternative and advanced feed practices to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials”. Dr. Kumar is working in the areas of rumen microbiology, nutraceuticals, and biotechnology. He has handled 24 research projects of different sponsoring agency such as Indo-USA, (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), DBT, DST, NASF, NDDB, ICAR, and NDRI, as principal investigator and Co- principal investigator. He has developed safe and eco-friendly probiotic technologies and filed a patent. He has also developed synbiotic formulations to enhance the growth of calves and to improve the gut health of neonatal calves. He has isolated, characterized and deposited about 130 novel microbial cultures form indigenous animals to national repository of ICAR. He has published 60 research papers and edited two books. He is awarded with several early researcher awards namely National Academy of Dairy Science (India) Associate Fellowship, Dr. S. K. Sirohi Memorial Outstanding Young Researcher Award, Dr. UB Singh Memorial Young Scientist Award, NAVS Young Scientist Award, PAI Young Scientist Award, Dr. K Pradhan Young Scientist Award, ISACP Young Scientist Award, Mohammed Ismail Siddiqui Award, and Shri A Laxman Rao Award.

Ajaya Kumar Rout, PhD, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, India

Dr. Ajaya Kumar Rout earned a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Fakir Mohan University, India, focusing on "Metagenomic analysis of river Ganga for microbiome and its putative functions." A recipient of the ICMR-Senior Research Fellow from the Division of Biomedical Informatics, Indian Council of Medical Research, he conducts research at Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, India. His expertise is in the areas of metagenomics, genomics, metatranscriptomics, structural bioinformatics, Environmental Microbiology and functional genomics. Dr. Rout published 40+ international research papers in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, his work has garnered 500+ Google Scholar citations and 10 book chapters. He serves as an Editorial Board Member for BMC Genomics, Editorial Board Member in Biotechnology for the Environment, Guest Editor for Genes, Guest Editor for BMC Genomic Data, Review Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology and Reviewer for multiple international journals. Dr. Rout has received Young Scientist Award, Best Research Scholar Award, Best Oral Presentation Award and Best Poster Presentation Award.

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Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of research articles, comprehensive reviews, in-depth case studies, and insightful opinion pieces. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. 

Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. Please, select the appropriate Collection title “Eco-Friendly Cleanup Crews: Microbial Systems in the Battle Against Emerging Pollutants" under the “Details” tab during the submission stage.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.