Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1403–1413 | Cite as

Bioremediation of highly toxic arsenic via carbon-fiber-assisted indirect As(III) oxidation by moderately-thermophilic, acidophilic Fe-oxidizing bacteria

  • Naoko OkibeEmail author
  • Yuken Fukano
Original Research Paper



To enable removal of highly toxic As(III) from acidic waters by inducing indirect microbial As(III) oxidation by Fe-oxidizing bacteria via carbon-assisted redox-coupling between As(III) oxidation and Fe3+ reduction.


Carbon-fiber (CF) was shown to function as an electron-mediator to catalyze chemical (abiotic) redox-coupling between As(III) oxidation and Fe3+ reduction. Accordingly, by taking advantage of Fe3+ regeneration by Fe-oxidizing bacteria, it was possible to promote oxidative removal of As(III) as ferric arsenate at moderate temperature. This reaction can be of use under the situation where a high-temperature treatment is not immediately available. Arsenic once concentrated as ferric arsenate on carbon-fibers can be collected to undergo phase-transformation to crystalline scorodite as the next re-solubilization/re-crystallization step at a higher temperature (70 °C).


While extremely acidophilic Fe-oxidizing bacteria are widely found in nature, the As-oxidizing counterparts, especially those grown on moderately-thermophilic and mesophilic temperatures, are hardly known. In this regard, the finding of this study could make a possible introduction of the semi-passive, low-temperature As-treatment using readily available Fe-oxidizing bacteria.


Bioremediation Arsenic As(III) Oxidation Scorodite Acidophile Fe-oxidizing bacteria Carbon-fiber 



This work was supported by JX Nippon Mining & Metals. The XAFS experiments were performed at the SAGA Light Source (Kyushu University Beam Line; BL06, No. 2014IIK025). Acidiplasma sp. Fv-Ap was kindly provided by Prof. D. B. Johnson (Bangor University, UK).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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