Adsorption and mineralization of REE—lanthanum onto bacterial cell surface
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A large number of rare earth element mining and application resulted in a series of problems of soil and water pollution. Environmental remediation of these REE-contaminated sites has become a top priority. This paper explores the use of Bacillus licheniformis to adsorb lanthanum and subsequent mineralization process in contaminated water. The maximum adsorption capacity of lanthanum on bacteria was 113.98 mg/g (dry weight) biomass. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) data indicated that adsorbed lanthanum on bacterial cell surface occurred in an amorphous form at the initial stage. Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) results indicated that lanthanum adsorption was correlated with phosphate. The amorphous material was converted into scorpion-like monazite (LaPO4 nanoparticles) in a month. The above results provide a method of using bacterial surface as adsorption and nucleation sites to treat REE-contaminated water.
KeywordsAdsorption Bio-mineralization Rare earth element (REE) Lanthanum Monazite
The authors are grateful to Drs. John Morton, Matthew Duley, and Richard Edelmann for giving us the possibility to perform XRD, TEM, and SEM analyses at Cincinnati University and Miami University. This work was financially supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (no. 2014CB846003) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41372346, 21477129). Additional support was provided by the China Scholarship Council (no. 201506655045).
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