Bioremediation of uranium contamination with enzymatic uranium reduction

Environmental Science & Technology
By:  and 



Enzymatic uranium reduction by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans readily removed uranium from solution in a batch system or when D. desulfuricans was separated from the bulk of the uranium-containing water by a semipermeable membrane. Uranium reduction continued at concentrations as high as 24 mM. Of a variety of potentially inhibiting anions and metals evaluated, only high concentrations of copper inhibited uranium reduction. Freeze-dried cells, stored aerobically, reduced uranium as fast as fresh cells. D. desulfuricans reduced uranium in pH 4 and pH 7.4 mine drainage waters and in uraniumcontaining groundwaters from a contaminated Department of Energy site. Enzymatic uranium reduction has several potential advantages over other bioprocessing techniques for uranium removal, the most important of which are as follows: the ability to precipitate uranium that is in the form of a uranyl carbonate complex; high capacity for uranium removal per cell; the formation of a compact, relatively pure, uranium precipitate.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bioremediation of uranium contamination with enzymatic uranium reduction
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es00035a023
Volume 26
Issue 11
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher ACS
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 7 p.
First page 2228
Last page 2234
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