3 Biotech

, 8:170 | Cite as

Preferential adsorption of uranium by functional groups of the marine unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus BDU130911

  • Rashmi Vijayaraghavan
  • Vaishnavi Ellappan
  • Prabaharan Dharmar
  • Uma Lakshmanan
Original Article


This study reports the surface interaction of the chemically modified marine unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus BDU130911 with uranium. The selective functional groups of the control (dead biomass) for binding with uranium in unicellular marine cyanobacteria were identified as carboxyl groups. The adsorption capacity of the biomass in a 1 mM uranium solution was found to be 92% in the control, 85% in the amine-blocked treatments, and 20% in the carboxyl-blocked treatments. The Langmuir isotherm provided a good fit to the data, suggesting a monolayer of uranium adsorption on all the tested biomass. The functional groups involved in the adsorption of uranium by the control and modified biomass were assessed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffractive analysis. The results of this study identify, carboxyl groups as the dominant anionic functional group involved in uranium adsorption, which validates an ionic interaction between the biomass and uranium, a cationic metal.


Marine cyanobacteria Chemical modification Uranium biosorption Functional group blocking EDXRF FTIR 



The study was financially supported by Department of Atomic Energy (Govt of India) Grant No: (2007/37/29/BRNS/1906) and Department of Biotechnology (Govt of India) for funding National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria (Grant no: BT/IS/MAIN/1/98). The authors express their earnest gratitude to Dr. V. Venugopal, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, and Mr. Sabapati (Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India), BARC Facilities, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, for providing EDXRF facility.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest in the publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Vijayaraghavan
    • 1
  • Vaishnavi Ellappan
    • 3
  • Prabaharan Dharmar
    • 2
  • Uma Lakshmanan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologySrimad Andavan Arts and Science College (Autonomous), Affiliated to Bharathidasan UniversityTrichyIndia
  2. 2.National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria (Sponsored by DBT, Govt. of India), Department of Marine Biotechnology, School of Marine SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Department of ChemistrySri G.V.G. Visalakshi College for Women (Autonomous), Affiliated to Bharathiar UniversityUdumalpetIndia

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