, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 385-388

Removal of uranium from solution using residual brewery yeast: combined biosorption and precipitation

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Abstract

Whilst unwashed preparations of biomass from a local brewery had an apparentmaximum biosorption capacity for uranium of 360mg/g (dry weight biomass) washingreduced this maximum to 150mg/g. Homogenization of both biomass preparations andrecovery of cellular debris had no significant effect on the maximum biosorptioncapacities although at lower equilibrium concentrations of uranium differences inthe biosorption capacities were detected. When unwashed biomass was retained by asemi-permeable membrane 40% of uranium used in the experiments precipitated outsidethat membrane. Therefore a significant proportion of the uranium removed fromsolution, and previously attributed to biosorption by the yeast biomass,resulted from precipitation brought about by interaction with low molecularweight components loosely associated with the biomass.