Bacterial biosorption and retention of thorium and uranyl cations by Mycobacterium smegmatis
Biosorption of Th4+ and UO 2 2+ ions, both separately and in mixed equimolar ratio, was carried out using nitrate-buffered solutions of the cations at pH 1 in the presence of 5%w/w non-proliferative cell suspensions of Mycobacterium smegmatis. At equilibrium following a 3 h treatment, specific adsorption for 2 mM Th and U was, respectively, 102 and 115 μmol g−1 dry biomass for individual solutions and 102 and 42 μmol g−1 for the mixed 2/2 mM solution. Desorption studies of the cation-loaded biomass preparations in aqueous media and in soilbacterial suspensions within the pH range <1 to 11 showed that leaching of throium was generally less than 1% at pH 1–11 after 7 d, whereas uranium was leached to the extent of 2% at pH 1 and up to 10% under the same conditions in Th−U mixtures.
KeywordsBiomass Uranium Cell Suspension Leaching Aqueous Medium
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