Development of a Novel Biological System for Removing Manganese from Contaminated Waters
Soluble manganese (Mn(II)) can cause nuisance and occasionally toxicity problems, both in surface and ground waters and in domestic water supplies. Many mine drainage waters contain highly elevated concentrations (often >100 mg l-1). Current systems for remediating mine waters, although effective for other metals, are often inefficient at removing manganese. This paper describes the development of self-sustaining, low-cost bioreactors that can be used in situ for passive removal of manganese from mine waters and other contaminated water courses of pH >4. A prototype bioreactor, set-up using Mn(IV)-coated pebbles from a fresh-water stream, was tested over one year and shown to be effective in removing Mn(II) from 10 to <0.25 mg l-1. Two species of fungi and one bacterial species were isolated from this system as Mn(II)-oxidizers. The fungi were identified as belonging to the order Pleosporales (Ascomycetes), and one was related (98 % 18S rRNA gene sequence identity) to a known Mn(II)-oxidising fungus. The bacterial isolate was closely related to the α-proteobacterium, Bosea thiooxidans. T-RFLP analysis showed that one or both of the fungal isolates were the dominant eukaryotes in the bioreactor community.
Axel Schippers, Wolfgang Sand, Franz Glombitza and Sabine Willscher
R. Mariner et al., "Development of a Novel Biological System for Removing Manganese from Contaminated Waters", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 20-21, pp. 267-270, 2007