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bioremediation

Pronunciation:  bI-O-rE-mE-dE-Ashun
  
Definition :Using microorganisms, usually bacteria, to break down organic chemical waste into less hazardous substances.
  
Facts: Sewage plants and oil spills all benefit from bioremediation.

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill polluted miles of sensitive Alaskan shoreline. Bacteria were sprayed onto the oil-covered beaches, fertilized, and ended up making a positive dent in the cleanup efforts.