Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2004 Jun;15(3):231-6.

Biological degradation of cyanide compounds.

Author information

Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 420 Life Science II, Mailcode 6509, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, USA.


Cyanide compounds are produced as waste products of a number of industrial processes and several routes for their removal from the environment are under investigation, including the use of biodegradation. The most recent developments in this area have come from studies of the hydrolytic and oxidative pathways for biodegradation and the conditions that affect their activity. The biodegradation of cyanide under anaerobic conditions has also recently demonstrated the feasibility for concomitant biogas generation, a possible economic benefit of the process. Significant advances have been reported in the use of plants for the phytoremediation of cyanide compounds and evidence for the biodegradation of thiocyanate and metal-cyanide complexes has become available. Despite these advances, however, physical and economic factors still limit the application of cyanide biodegradation, as do competing technologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center