, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 167–173 | Cite as

Microbial degradation of cyanide and thiocyanate

  • G. I. Karavaiko
  • T. F. Kondrat’eva
  • E. E. Savari
  • N. V. Grigor’eva
  • Z. A. Avakyan
Experimental Articles


The role played by a bacterial community composed ofPseudomonas putida, strain 21;Pseudomonas stutzeri, strain 18; andPseudomonas sp., strain 5, and by physical and chemical factors in the degradation of CN and SCN was studied. It was shown that the degradation of CN is determined both by the action of bacteria and by abiotic physical and chemical factors (pH, O2, temperature, the medium agitation rate, etc.). The contribution of chemical degradation was found to increase drastically at pH below 9.0; when air was blown through the medium (irrespective of the pH value); under active agitation of the medium; and when the medium surface interfacing air was increased. Even at elevated pH values (9.0-9.2), suboptimal for bacterial growth, the microbial degradation could account for at most 20–25 mg/1 of CN, regardless of its initial concentration. When CN and SCN were concurrently present in the medium, the former compound was the first to be degraded by microorganisms. The rate of bacterial degradation of SCN under continuous cultivation in a chain of reactors was found to depend on its concentration, the medium flow rate, agitation rate, and the pattern of carbon source supply and could exceed 1 g/(l day). CN and SCN are utilized by bacteria solely as nitrogen sources. The mechanism of CN and SCN degradation by the microbial community is discussed.

Key words

cyanide thiocyanate degradation Pseudomonas putida Pseudomonas stutzeri 


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Copyright information

© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. I. Karavaiko
    • 1
  • T. F. Kondrat’eva
    • 1
  • E. E. Savari
    • 2
  • N. V. Grigor’eva
    • 1
  • Z. A. Avakyan
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MicrobiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Central Research Institute for Geological Exploration of Nonferrous and Precious MetalsMoscowRussia

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