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Crystals 2018, 8(11), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8110438

Can Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) through a Ureolytic Pathway Be Successfully Applied for Removing Heavy Metals from Wastewaters?

1
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco 4780000, Chile
2
Núcleo Científico y Tecnológico de Biorecursos (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco 4780000, Chile
3
Departamento de Química Ambiental, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción 4090541, Chile
4
Centro de Investigación Científico Tecnológico para la Minería CICITEM, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
5
Laboratorio de Biotecnología Algal y Sustentabilidad, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y recursos Biológicos, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
6
Escuela de Ingeniería Bioquímica, Facultad de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2362803, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Crystallization)
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Abstract

Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) through a ureolytic pathway is a process that promotes calcite precipitation as a result of the urease enzymatic activity of several microorganisms. It has been studied for different technological applications, such as soil bio-consolidation, bio-cementation, CO2 sequestration, among others. Recently, this process has been proposed as a possible process for removing heavy metals from contaminated soils. However, no research has been reported dealing with the MICP process for heavy metal removal from wastewater/waters. This (re)view proposes to consider to such possibility. The main characteristics of MICP are presented and discussed. The precipitation of heavy metals contained in wastewaters/waters via MICP is exanimated based on process characteristics. Moreover, challenges for its successful implementation are discussed, such as the heavy metal tolerance of inoculum, ammonium release as product of urea hydrolysis, and so on. A semi-continuous operation in two steps (cell growth and bio-precipitation) is proposed. Finally, the wastewater from some typical industries releasing heavy metals are examined, discussing the technical barriers and feasibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP); heavy metals; wastewater treatment; bioprecipitation; calcium carbonate microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP); heavy metals; wastewater treatment; bioprecipitation; calcium carbonate
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Torres-Aravena, Á.E.; Duarte-Nass, C.; Azócar, L.; Mella-Herrera, R.; Rivas, M.; Jeison, D. Can Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) through a Ureolytic Pathway Be Successfully Applied for Removing Heavy Metals from Wastewaters? Crystals 2018, 8, 438.

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