The discharge of an alarming number of recalcitrant pollutants from various industrial activities presents a serious threat to environmental sustainability and ecological integrity. Bioremediation has gained immense interest around the world due to its environmentally friendly and cost-effective nature. In contrast to physical and chemical methods, the use of microbial enzymes, particularly immobilized biocatalysts, has been demonstrated as a versatile approach for the sustainable mitigation of environmental pollution. Considerable attention is now devoted to developing novel enzyme engineering approaches and state-of-the-art bioreactor design for ameliorating the overall bio-catalysis and biodegradation performance of enzymes. This review discusses the contemporary and state of the art technical and scientific progress regarding applying oxidoreductase enzyme-based biocatalytic systems to remediate a vast number of pharmaceutically active compounds from water and wastewater bodies. A comprehensive insight into enzyme immobilization, the role of mediators, bioreactors designing, and transformation products of pharmaceuticals and their associated toxicity is provided. Additional studies are necessary to elucidate enzymatic degradation mechanisms, monitor the toxicity levels of the resulting degraded metabolites and optimize the entire bio-treatment strategy for technical and economical affordability.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.