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Chemosphere. 2019 Aug;228:17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.04.107. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Solidification of sand by Pb(II)-tolerant bacteria for capping mine waste to control metallic dust: Case of the abandoned Kabwe Mine, Zambia.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-Ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan.
2
Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-Ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan. Electronic address: nakashima@geo-er.eng.hokudai.ac.jp.
3
Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-Ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan.
4
IWRM Centre/Geology Department, School of Mines, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Zambia.
5
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18, Nishi 9, Kita-Ku, Sapporo, 060-0818, Japan.

Abstract

Environmental impacts resulting from historic lead and zinc mining in Kabwe, Zambia affect human health due to the dust generated from the mine waste that contains lead, a known hazardous pollutant. We employed microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP), an alternative capping method, to prevent dust generation and reduce the mobility of contaminants. Pb-resistant Oceanobacillus profundus KBZ 1-3 and O. profundus KBZ 2-5 isolated from Kabwe were used to biocement the sand that would act as a cover to prevent dust and water infiltration. Sand biocemented by KBZ 1-3 and KBZ 2-5 had maximum unconfined compressive strength values of 3.2 MPa and 5.5 MPa, respectively. Additionally, biocemented sand exhibited reduced water permeability values of 9.6 × 10-8 m/s and 8.9 × 10-8 m/s for O. profundus KBZ 1-3 and KBZ 2-5, respectively, which could potentially limit the entrance of water and oxygen into the dump, hence reducing the leaching of heavy metals. We propose that these isolates represent an option for bioremediating contaminated waste by preventing both metallic dust from becoming airborne and rainwater from infiltrating into the waste. O. profundus KBZ 1-3 and O. profundus KBZ 2-5 isolated form Kabwe represent a novel species that has, for the first time, been applied in a bioremediation study.

KEYWORDS:

Biocementation; Capping; Indigenous ureolytic bacteria; Kabwe; Mine waste

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