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Microbial Sorption of Uranium Using Amycolatopsis sp. K47 Isolated from Uranium Deposits


The increasing contamination of soils, sediments, and water with heavy metals through natural and industrial processes is a worldwide problem. Mining processes produce tons of material contaminated with radionuclides such as U and different heavy metals such as Cd, Ni, and Pb. U(VI) adsorbs strongly on bacteria, exhibiting pH-dependent adsorption behavior that is caused by a range of uranyl surface complexes on bacteria cell walls. The Amycolatopsis sp. K47 was isolated from Manisa Koprubasi Kasar open-cast uranium mine and identified for the first time. Using the batch adsorption method, the biosorption potential of this microbe was investigated by studying the effects of changes in pH (1–10), biomass dose (0.1–5 g/l), initial uranium metal concentration (5–200 mg/l), contact time (5–180 min), and temperature (20–60 °C). Interpretation of FTIR data obtained for both the uranium loaded and unloaded Amycolatopsis sp. K47 biomass showed the presence of carboxylic acid, hydroxyl, and amide functional groups that could interact with uranium ions. Scanning electron microscopy images demonstrated that uranium was intensely adsorbed on the microbial biomass surface. The sorption isotherms were investigated by analysis of the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin–Radushkevich (D–R) models. The Langmuir isotherm model was found to show the best fit for the experimental data obtained. Furthermore, thermodynamic parameters, such as ΔH°, ΔS°, and ΔG°, were calculated using adsorption equilibrium constant obtained from the Langmuir isotherm. The optimal experimental conditions were determined to be pH = 4, C0 = 40 ppm, t = 150 min, temp. = 40 °C, and abs. dose = 1 g/l, and the corresponding U(VI) removal efficiency was about 97 ± 2%.

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This study is supported by Scientific Research Unit of Munzur University under grant MFTUB019-26.

Dr. Kwaku Kyeremeh is grateful to the Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx)—funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, for the award of a Postdoctoral Fellowship and Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund at the University of Cambridge.

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Correspondence to Fatih Celik.

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Celik, F., Camas, M., Kyeremeh, K. et al. Microbial Sorption of Uranium Using Amycolatopsis sp. K47 Isolated from Uranium Deposits. Water Air Soil Pollut 229, 112 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-018-3766-5

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  • Pollution
  • Wastewater
  • Microbial sorption
  • Heavy metals
  • Isotherms