Papers by Keyword: Bioprecipitation

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Authors: Marios Tsezos
Abstract: Microbial cell – soluble species interactions can be part of technologies for the treatment of metal/metalloid and radionuclide bearing water streams in order to sequester the targeted species. Interactions of microbial cells and soluble targeted species include passive and active processes of metabolically inactive or active biomass, and result in the reduction of their mobility and toxicity. Different parts of the cell may sequester targeted species via processes such as complexation, chelation, coordination, ion exchange, precipitation and reduction. Collectively, these mechanisms have been referred to as sorption and the overall phenomenon as biosorption. The term biosorption is generally used to describe the passive interaction of microbial biomass with targeted species. The technologies based on these processes, lead to the set up of units, mainly in the form of packed bed reactors similar to the configuration of ion exchange resins reactors, placed at the end of a treatment process as a polishing stage. In order to maintain durability of the sorbent, the microbial cells harvested from different sources, are formulated into particles by way of immobilization – pelletization. In the early years of Biosorption, a significant effort was devoted to study the reusability of the sorbent by repeated sorption – desorption cycles, in order to reduce the operating cost of the technology. The availability of the biosorbent material, the reversibility of the desorption process, the presence of competing co-ions and organic molecules, posed significant scepticism and finally serious doubt about the industrial applicability of biosorption as a stand alone technology. However the mechanisms are active and present in biological reactors, and can contribute to overall species sequestering. Biological reactors based on active microbial biomass as alternative to passive sorption, exploit the self regenerating features of living biomass along with the traits of microbial metabolism. Active cells produce metabolites (i.e. EPS, simple inorganic moieties etc.) interacting chemically with the targeted species. The active biomass offers the additional attractive feature of forming biofilms on the surface of carrier materials allowing a natural way of cell immobilization. Different biofilm reactor configurations e.g. static or moving bed filters, fluidized bed reactors, rotating biological contactors support the development of biofilms. Conditions such as temperature, pH, presence of toxic compounds etc. should be considered in the applicability of the technology. Important metabolically mediated immobilization processes for metal/metalloid and radionuclide species are bioprecipitation and bioreduction. Bioprecipitation processes include the transformation of soluble species to insoluble hydroxides, carbonates, phosphates, sulfides or metal – organic complexes as a result of the microbial metabolism. In the case of biological reduction, the cells may use the species as terminal electron acceptors in anoxic environments to produce energy or reduce the toxicity of the cells microenvironment. Such processes form the basis for treatment technologies which are recently developed and applied both in pilot and full scale.
Authors: Manuel Román Jimeno, Antonio Ballester, Manuel García Roig, Eric Guibal, Maria Clara Costa
Abstract: Heavy metal pollution is one of the most important environmental problems today even threatening human life. A large number of industries produce and discharge wastes containing different heavy metals into the environment and do not comply with current EU directives. European project BIOMETAL DEMO ( aims to demonstrate the feasibility of the application of novel biotechnologies for the treatment of metal polluted wastewaters through the development of three pilot plants to be implemented in metal polluting representative industries.The biotechnologies that have been evaluated in project BIOMETAL DEMO are: metal bioprecipitation by sulphate-reducing bacteria and immobilized phytase biocatalysis, and metal biosorption on agricultural industry by-products and biopolymers such as alginate & chitosan based materials.After the evaluation of these techniques, an optimized bioprocess or a synergy of two integrated bioprocesses will be selected to design and build two demonstration pilot plants for scaling-up the metal removal biotreatment.Finally, an economic, social and technical analysis of the benefits of such biotreatment of metal polluted industrial wastewater will be carried out for the corresponding and related industrial sectors.
Authors: P. Kikot, M. Viera, C. Mignone, Edgardo R. Donati
Abstract: Metallurgical processes and mining are the main source of heavy metal contamination of water sources, rivers and lakes. There are a large number of physicochemical processes that can be applied for the immobilization of heavy metals from a liquid matrix. However, many of them are not particularly desirable because their low selectivity and inefficiency when high volumes of low metal concentration liquids must be treated. In such conditions, alternative biological processes have shown to be more useful than traditional physicochemical processes. One of those processes, bioprecipitation of metal sulphides is relevant due to the possibility of forming stable solids (very low solubility) with small volumes compared with other solids. This process is mediated by a broad group of organisms called sulphate reducers that are able to catalyze, under anaerobic conditions, the reduction of sulphate with organic compounds as electron donors. In this paper, we study the effect of the presence of various heavy metals and the pH on the ability to reduce sulphate by sulphate-reducing bacteria. We compare the reduction of sulphate by a microbial community obtained from the effluent of a tannery with a strain isolated from that community. Our results showed that sulphate reduction was significantly affected by pH changes whereas the presence of heavy metals did not show a significant effect. In addition, metal precipitation by the isolated strain was similar than that produced by the community.
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