, Volume 377, Issue 6, pp 1071-1078
Date: 11 Sep 2003

Flow-injection spectrophotometric determination of cyanate in bioremediation processes by use of immobilised inducible cyanase

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A new flow injection (FI) method for photometric monitoring of cyanate in bioremediation processes using immobilised native cyanase is described. The method is based on the catalytic reaction between cyanate and bicarbonate to produce ammonia and carbon dioxide in the presence of an inducible native cyanase, immobilised in a reactor packed with glass beads. Two degrees of purification of the biocatalyst were used—heated cell-free extract and purified extract of cyanase from Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes CECT 5344. The ammonia produced by the enzymatic reaction is finally monitored photometrically at 700 nm using a modification of the conventional Berthelot method. The method furnishes different calibration curves depending on the degree of purification of the cyanase, with linear ranges between 1.23 and 616.50 μmol L−1 (r 2=0.9979, n=7) and between 1.07 and 308.25 µmol L−1 (r 2= 0.9992, n=7) for the heated cell-free extract and the purified cyanase extract, respectively. No statistically significant differences between the samples were found in the precision study evaluated at two cyanate concentration levels using one-way analysis of variance. A sampling frequency of 15 h−1 was achieved. The method was used to monitor cyanate consumption in a cyanate bioremediation tank inoculated with Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes CECT 5344 strain. The correlation between cyanate degradation and ammonia production was tested using a conventional method. Finally, the method was applied to different samples collected from the bioremediation tank using the standard addition method; recoveries between 85.9 and 97.4% were obtained.