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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 May 5;94(1):81-90.

Chromate reduction by immobilized palladized sulfate-reducing bacteria.

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School of Biosciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Resting cells of Desulfovibrio vulgaris NCIMB 8303 and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans NCIMB 8307 were used for the hydrogenase-mediated reduction of Pd(II) to Pd(0). The resulting hybrid palladium bionanocatalyst (Bio-Pd(0)) was used in the reduction of Cr(VI) to the less environmentally problematic Cr(III) species. The reduction of Cr(VI) by free and agar-immobilized Bio-Pd(0) was evaluated. Investigations using catalyst suspensions showed that Cr(VI) reduction was similar ( approximately 170 nmol Cr(VI)/h/mg Bio-Pd(0)) when Bio-Pd(0) was produced using D. vulgaris or D. desulfuricans. Continuous-flow studies using D. vulgaris Bio-Pd(0) with agar as the immobilization matrix investigated the effect of Bio-Pd(0) loading, inlet Cr(VI) concentration, and flow rate on the efficiency of Cr(VI) reduction. Reduction of Cr(VI) was highest at a D. vulgaris Bio-Pd(0) loading of 7.5 mg Bio-Pd(0)/mL agar (3:1 dry cell wt: Pd(0)), an input [Cr(VI)] of 100 microM, and a flow rate of 1.75 mL/h (approx. 3.5 column volumes/h). A mathematical interpretation predicted the activity of the immobilized Bio-Pd(0) for a given set of conditions within 5% of the value found by experiment. Considering the system as an 'artificial enzyme' analog and application of applied enzyme kinetics gave an apparent K(m) value (K(m app)) of 430 microM Cr(VI) and a determined value of flow-through reactor activity which differed by 11% from that predicted mathematically.

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