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Open AccessArticle

Promotion of Ni2+ Removal by Masking Toxicity to Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria: Addition of Citrate

by Junwei Qian 1,†, Xiaoyu Zhu 1,†, Yong Tao 1,*, Yan Zhou 2, Xiaohong He 1 and Daping Li 1,*
1
Key Laboratory of Environmental and Applied Microbiology, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Environmental Microbiology Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610041, China
2
College of Life Science, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Ji-Dong Gu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 7932-7943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16047932
Received: 21 November 2014 / Revised: 22 January 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
The sulfate-reducing bioprocess is a promising technology for the treatment of heavy metal-containing wastewater. This work was conducted to investigate the possibility of promoting heavy metal removal by the addition of citrate to mask Ni2+ toxicity to sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in batch reactors. SRB growth was completely inhibited in Ni2+-containing medium (1 mM) when lactate served as the sole carbon resource, leading to no sulfate reduction and Ni2+ removal. However, after the addition of citrate, SRB grew well, and sulfate was quickly reduced to sulfide. Simultaneously, the Ni-citrate complex was biodegraded to Ni2+ and acetate. The NiS precipitate was then formed, and Ni2+ was completely removed from the solution. It was suggested that the addition of citrate greatly alleviates Ni2+ toxicity to SRB and improves the removal of Ni2+, which was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR targeting dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) genes. Analysis of the carbon metabolism indicated that lactate instead of acetate served as the electron donor for sulfate reduction. This study offers a potential approach to increase the removal of heavy metals from wastewater in the single stage SRB-based bioprocess. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ni removal; Ni-citrate complex; toxicity masking; lactate; sulfate reduction Ni removal; Ni-citrate complex; toxicity masking; lactate; sulfate reduction
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Qian, J.; Zhu, X.; Tao, Y.; Zhou, Y.; He, X.; Li, D. Promotion of Ni2+ Removal by Masking Toxicity to Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria: Addition of Citrate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 7932-7943.

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