, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 859-867
Date: 03 Aug 2007

Microbial formation of lanthanide-substituted magnetites by Thermoanaerobacter sp. TOR-39

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Abstract

The potentially toxic effects of soluble lanthanide (L) ions, although microbially induced mineralization can facilitate the formation of tractable materials, has been one factor preventing the more widespread use of L-ions in biotechnology. Here, we propose a new mixed-L precursor method as compared to the traditional direct addition technique. L (Nd, Gd, Tb, Ho and Er)-substituted magnetites, L y Fe3 − y O4 were microbially produced using L-mixed precursors, L x Fe1 − x OOH, where x = 0.01–0.2. By combining lanthanides into the akaganeite precursor phase, we were able to mitigate some of the toxicity, enabling the microbial formation of L-substituted magnetites using a metal reducing bacterium, Thermoanaerobacter sp. TOR-39. The employment of L-mixed precursors enabled the microbial formation of L-substituted magnetite, nominal composition up to L0.06Fe2.94O4, with at least tenfold higher L-concentration than could be obtained when the lanthanides were added as soluble salts. This mixed-precursor method can be used to extend the application of microbially produced L-substituted magnetite, while also mitigating their toxicity.