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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 May 15;37(10):2166-72.

Speciation of Pb(II) sorbed by Burkholderia cepacia/goethite composites.

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Surface & Aqueous Geochemistry Group, Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94035-2115, USA.


Bacterial-mineral composites are important in the retention of heavy metals such as Pb due to their large sorption capacity under a wide range of environmental conditions. However, the partitioning of heavy metals between components in such composites is not probed directly. Using Burkholderia cepacia biofilms coated with goethite (alpha-FeOOH) particles, the partitioning of Pb(II) between the biological and iron-(oxyhydr)oxide surfaces has been measured using an X-ray spectroscopic approach. EXAFS spectra were fit to quantitatively determine the fraction of Pb(II) associated with each component as a function of pH and [Pb]. At pH < 5.5, at least 50% of the total sorbed Pb(II) is associated with the biofilm component, whereas the total uptake within the composite is dominated by goethite (> 70% Pb/goethite) above pH 6. Direct comparison can be made between the amount of Pb(II) bound to each component in the composite vs separate binary systems (i.e., Pb/biofilm or Pb/goethite). At high pH, Pb(II) uptake on the biofilm is dramatically decreased due to competition with the goethite surface. In contrast, Pb uptake on goethite is significantly enhanced at low pH (2-fold increase at pH 5) compared to systems with no complexing ligands. The mode of Pb(II)-binding to the goethite component changes from low to high [Pb]. Structural fitting of the EXAFS spectra collected from 10(-5.6) to 10(-3.6) M [Pb]eq at pH 6 shows that the Pb-goethite surface complexes at low [Pb] are dominated by inner-sphere bidentate, binuclear complexes bridging two adjacent singly coordinated surface oxygens, giving rise to Pb-Fe distances of approximately 3.9 A. At high [Pb], the dominant Pb(II) inner-sphere complexes on the goethite surface shift to bidentate edge-sharing complexes with Pb-Fe distances of approximately 3.3 A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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