Heavy metal removal and recovery using microorganisms [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 1991. and Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- Pages: (24 pages) : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Westinghouse Savannah River Company, United States. Department of Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Microorganisms -- bacteria, fungi, and microalgae -- can accumulate relatively large amounts of toxic heavy metals and radionuclides from the environment. These organisms often exhibit specificity for particular metals. The metal content of microbial biomass can be a substantial fraction of total dry weight with concentration factors (metal in dry biomass to metal in solution) exceeding one million in some cases. Both living and inert (dead) microbial biomass can be used to reduce heavy metal concentrations in contaminated waters to very low levels -- parts per billion and even lower. In many respects (e.g. specificity, residual metal concentrations, accumulation factors, and economics) microbial bioremoval processes can be superior to conventional processes, such as ion exchange and caustic (lime or hydroxide) precipitation for heavy metals removal from waste and contaminated waters. Thus, bioremoval could be developed to contribute to the clean-up of wastes at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and other DOE facilities. However, the potential advantages of bioremoval processes must still be developed into practical operating systems. A detailed review of the literature suggests that appropriate bioremoval processes could be developed for the SRS. There is great variability from one biomass source to another in bioremoval capabilities. Bioremoval is affected by pH, other ions, temperature, and many other factors. The biological (living vs. dead) and physical (immobilized vs. dispersed) characteristics of the biomass also greatly affect metal binding. Even subtle differences in the microbial biomass, such as the conditions under which it was cultivated, can have major effects on heavy metal binding.
- Published through SciTech Connect., 02/01/1991., "wsrc-tr-90-175-vol.1", "DE92010044", and Benemann, J.R. , Pinole, CA; Wilde, E.W.
- Funding Information:
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