Author(s): Tsezos M, Volesky B
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Abstract Biosorption of elements is a little understood phenomenon exhibited by some types of even nonliving microbial biomass. A common fungus Rhizopus arrhizus has been reported to take up uranium from aqueous solutions to the extent of 180 mg U(6+)/g. The mechanism of uranium sequestering by this type of biomass was studied by using experimental techniques such as electron microscopy, x-ray energy dispersion analysis, IR spectroscopy, and supporting evidence was obtained for a biosorption mechanism consisting of at least three processes. Uranium coordination and adsorption in the cell-wall chitin structure occur simultaneously and rapidly whereas precipitation of uranylhydroxide within the chitin microcrystalline cell-wall structure takes place at a lower rate. Interference of Fe(2+) and Zn(2+) coions with uranium biosorption is indicated.
This article was published in Biotechnol Bioeng
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology