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Chemosphere. 2002 Jul;48(4):427-35.

Chromium (VI) biosorption and bioaccumulation by chromate resistant bacteria.

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Environmental Microbiology Section, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow, India.


In this study, strains that are capable of bioaccumulating Cr(VI) were isolated from treated tannery effluent of a common effluent treatment plant. The Cr(VI) concentration in this treated effluent was 0.96 mg/l, much above the statutory limit of 0.1 mg/l for discharge of industrial effluents into inland surface waters in India. In addition to the bioaccumulation, biosorption capabilities of living and dead cells were analysed. Two strains, identified as Bacillus circulans and Bacillus megaterium were able to bioaccumulate 34.5 and 32.0 mg Cr/g dry weight, respectively and brought the residual concentration of Cr(VI) to the permissible limit in 24 h when the initial concentration was 50 mg Cr(VI)/l. Our experimental design accounts for initial as well as final residual concentration of heavy metal while selecting heavy metal accumulating strains during batch studies. Biosorption of Cr(VI) was shown by B. megaterium and an another strain, B. coagulans. Living and dead cells of B. coagulans biosorbed 23.8 and 39.9 mg Cr/g dry weight, respectively, whereas, 15.7 and 30.7 mg Cr/g dry weight was biosorbed by living and dead cells of B. megaterium, respectively. Biosorption by the dead cells was higher than the living cells. This was due to prior pH conditioning (pH 2.5 with deionized water acidified with H2SO4) of the dead cells.

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