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, 14 (5), 635-8

Bioaccumulation of Nickel by Intercalation Into Polycrystalline Hydrogen Uranyl Phosphate Deposited via an Enzymatic Mechanism

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Bioaccumulation of Nickel by Intercalation Into Polycrystalline Hydrogen Uranyl Phosphate Deposited via an Enzymatic Mechanism

K M Bonthrone et al. Nat Biotechnol.

Abstract

A Citrobacter sp. accumulates uranyl ion (UO2(2+)) as crystalline HUO2PO4.4H2O (HUP), using enzymatically generated inorganic phosphate. Ni was not removed by this mechanism, but cells already loaded with HUP removed Ni2+ by intercalative ion-exchange, forming Ni(UO2PO4)2.7H2O, as concluded by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and proton induced x-ray emission (PIXE) analyses. The loaded biomass became saturated with Ni rapidly, with a molar ratio of Ni:U in the cellbound deposit of approx. 1:6; Ni penetration was probably surface-localized. Cochallenge of the cells with Ni2+ and UO2(2+), and glycerol 2-phosphate (phosphate donor for phosphate release and metal bioprecipitation) gave sustained removal of both metals in a flow through bioreactor, with more extensively accumulated Ni. We propose 'Microbially Enhanced Chemisorption of Heavy Metals' (MECHM) to describe this hybrid mechanism of metal bioaccumulation via intercalation into preformed, biogenic crystals, and note also that MECHM can promote the removal of the transuranic radionuclide neptunium, which is difficult to achieve by conventional methods.

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