When wood burns, the combustion process releases carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. If you leave a piece of burning wood to rot in an enclosed space, it quickly develops a foul stench that attracts bacteria and fungi. These microorganisms begin decomposing the moist cellulose in the wood and converting it into sugar (lactose).
The result is a substance called honey fungus or black treacle, which has a rich, sweet aroma similar to raw sugar. Moreover, these fungal spores contain several essential nutrients including vitamins B2 and B12. You can use this black treacle to make home remedies for various health problems such as coughs, diabetes and constipation.
The process of decomposition using microorganisms is called microbial decay or biodegradation. Biodegradation occurs naturally when organic material is exposed to air or water.
This process uses energy from sunlight along with specific types of microbes called microbes to break down organic materials into simpler components that are more easily digested by plants and other organisms such as insects, birds and mammals. In this article, we will discuss why biodegradation uses solar energy and how this process contributes to our ecosystem by breaking down waste matter safely and efficiently.
Why does decomposition occur?
The process of decomposition relies on the presence of microbes in an area. If you leave a piece of wood in an enclosed space for a few months, microorganisms in the wood produce black treacle.
This is because the wood has been broken down by microorganisms and is now a rich source of nutrients. When you leave a rotting piece of wood in an enclosed area, the air inside the space gets polluted due to the emission of foul-smelling gases.
However, the same area outside the space becomes clean due to the action of microbes in the air that break down the materials inside the wood. Therefore, the decomposition of organic matter does not harm the environment unless an enclosed area is not ventilated.
How biodegradation works?
All plants and animals need energy to grow and reproduce. Most organisms use the energy from the Sun to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates using photosynthesis.
Biodegradation is the decomposition process that uses microbes to break down the organic materials into simpler components that can be used by plants. Biodegradation of organic matter may occur on land, in water bodies or in the atmosphere.
When organic materials rot in the soil, fungi, bacteria and protozoa release oxygen into the soil. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy environment for plants and animals in order to facilitate biodegradation.
The process of biodegradation uses solar energy along with the gases released by microbes. This reduces the need for humans to use energy to perform gardening or farming activities. Moreover, the decomposition process provides a safe source of nutrients for plants and animals.
The importance of aerobic conditions
Biodegradation depends on the presence of air or water in the area where organic materials are present. If no air enters an area, the microbes die due to lack of oxygen. Similarly, if water stagnates in an area, the microbes die due to lack of oxygen.
Thus, to facilitate the process of biodegradation, it is important to maintain aerobic conditions in the area. This means that the area should be exposed to sunlight and have water available.
During biodegradation, microorganisms use oxygen from the air or water to convert the carbon in organic materials into simpler components such as carbon dioxide, water and different types of organic acids like acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid. These components are harmless to humans and plants.
The role of microorganisms in decomposition process
There are several microorganisms, including algae, bacteria, fungi and protozoa, that break down organic matter. These microorganisms release enzymes that break down the organic materials into simpler components.
These microorganisms can only survive in anaerobic conditions, which means that they require oxygen in an environment that has less than five percent oxygen.
During biodegradation, microorganisms use oxygen from the air or water and release carbon dioxide and water as byproducts during the process of breaking down organic matter. These gases are harmless to humans and plants.
Bacteria and fungi involved in biodegradation
Bacteria and fungi are the two main groups of microorganisms involved in biodegradation. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that break down organic matter using enzymes. Fungi are multicellular organisms that break down organic matter using cellulose. Some bacteria and fungi can grow both anaerobically and aerobically.
These organisms break down organic matter by using solar energy and organic matter present in the atmosphere or water. The bacteria and fungi involved in the biodegradation of organic matter depend on the type of organic matter. The bacteria and fungi that break down wet organic matter are different from those that break down dry organic matter.
Similarly, the bacteria and fungi that break down fibrous organic matter are different from those that break down ligneous organic matter such as wood and plant matter.
Biodegradation is a natural process that uses solar energy along with certain types of microorganisms to break down organic matter into simpler components. The process occurs in soil, water bodies and the atmosphere. Bacteria and fungi are the two main groups of microorganisms that break down organic matter during biodegradation.
Biofilm is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that protect each other from being killed and broken down by other bacteria or fungi. The bacteria and fungi involved in the biodegradation of organic matter depend on the type of organic matter present in an area.