3 Biotech

, 7:313 | Cite as

Kinetics and mechanisms of mercury biosorption by an exopolysaccharide producing marine isolate Bacillus licheniformis

  • Kinjal H. Upadhyay
  • Avni M. Vaishnav
  • Devayani R. Tipre
  • Bhargav C. Patel
  • Shailesh R. DaveEmail author
Original Article


Eight exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing metal-removing marine bacteria were screened for mercury (Hg) sorption. Bacillus licheniformis with the highest MIC values and Hg sorption ability was selected for further study. Biosorption of Hg from aqueous solution by Bacillus licheniformis was studied with respect to the metal concentration, adsorbent concentration, pH, different contact times, and in the presence of other metal ions. Under optimum conditions, more than 70% mercury was removed by 25 mg dried biomass of Bacillus licheniformis at pH 7.0 after 1 h of contact time. Freundlich adsorption isotherm was acceptable at studied Hg concentrations as compared to Langmuir isotherm model. Pseudo-second-order kinetic model was found to be more suitable for data presentation in contrast to pseudo-first-order kinetic model. Involvement of external mass transfer was prominent as compared to intraparticle diffusion model. Desorption of Hg was more effective with acids from all the studied eluents, showing 49.36 and 33.8% eluting capacity for 0.1 N HCL and 0.1 N HNO3, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy exhibited altered cell surface morphology of the cells under the influence of mercury. The spectral images of energy dispersive spectroscopy showed the presence of metal ions on the surface of cells.


Mercury Biosorption Adsorption isotherm Kinetic models Desorption 



We are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, India for providing the INSPIRE Fellowship to Kinjal Upadhyay and University Grants Commission, New Delhi for Emeritus Professor fellowship award to Shailesh Dave. We are also grateful to the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), New Delhi, for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We do not have any conflict of interest for the research carried out and data presented in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kinjal H. Upadhyay
    • 1
  • Avni M. Vaishnav
    • 1
  • Devayani R. Tipre
    • 1
  • Bhargav C. Patel
    • 3
  • Shailesh R. Dave
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, School of SciencesGujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Forensic Science, School of SciencesGujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  3. 3.Gujarat Forensic Science UniversityGandhinagarIndia

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