Microbial Intervention in Trace Element-containing Industrial Process Streams and Waste Products

  • G. J. Olson
Part of the Dahlem Workshop Reports book series (DAHLEM, volume 33)


Microorganisms are important agents in solubilization, precipitation, accumulation, and alkylation-dealkylation reactions involving heavy elements in environments associated with industrial process streams and wastes. Such microbial processes may be harmful or beneficial. Microbial resistance to toxic heavy elements often involves metabolic mechanisms causing chemical species transformation. With certain bacteria heavy elements may serve as metabolic energy sources. The presence of chemical species of trace elements in these environments is critical for understanding the mechanisms of microbial heavy-element transformations and optimizing or inhibiting these processes for industrial application and environmental assessment.


Activate Sludge Acidic Mine Drainage Hydrogen Sulfide Metal Sulfide Pyrite Oxidation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews GF, Maczuga J (1982) Bacterial coal desulfurization. In: Scott CD (ed) Biotechnology and Bioengineering Symposium No. 12, New York: Wiley Interscience, pp 337–348.Google Scholar
  2. Belly RT, Kydd GC (1982) Silver resistance in microorganisms. Dev Ind Microbiol 23: 567–577Google Scholar
  3. Bennett JC, Tributsch H (1978) Bacterial leaching patterns on pyrite crystal surfaces. J Bacteriol 134: 310–317PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beveridge TJ (1984) Mechanisms of the binding of metallic ions to bacterial walls and the possible impact on microbial ecology. In: Klug MJ, Reddy CA (eds) Current Perspectives in Microbial Ecology, Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology, pp 601–607.Google Scholar
  5. Blair WR, Olson GJ, Brinckman FE, Iverson WP (1982) Accumulation and fate of tri-n-butyltin chloride in estuarine bacteria. Microb Ecol 8: 241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakemore RP (1982) Magnetotactic bacteria. Ann Rev Microbiol 36: 217–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bloomfield C, Coulter JK (1973) Genesis and management of acid sulfate soils. In: Brady NC (ed) Advances in Agronomy, vol 25, New York: Academic Press, pp 265–326.Google Scholar
  8. Booth JE, Williams JW (1984) The isolation of a mercuric ion-reducing flavoprotein from Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. J Gen Microbiol 130: 725–730Google Scholar
  9. Brierley CL (1978) Bacterial leaching. CRC Crit Rev Microbiol 6: 207–262PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brierley JA (1983) Biological accumulation of some heavy metals–biotechnological applications. In: Westbroek P, de Jong EW (eds) Biomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation, D Reidel Pub Co, pp 499–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brinckman FE (1984) Environmental effects of organotins. Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference on Germanium, Tin, and Lead, Montreal, Aug. 8–12, 1983Google Scholar
  12. Brown MJ, Lester JN (1979) Metal removal in activated sludge: The role of bacterial extracellular polymers. Wat Res 13: 817–838Google Scholar
  13. Charley RC, Bull AT (1979) Bioaccumulation of silver by a multispecies community of bacteria. Arch Microbiol 123: 239–244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cole MA (1979) Solubilization of heavy metal sulfides by heterotrophic soil bacteria. Soil Sci 127: 313–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Craig PJ (1980) Metal cycles and biological methylation. In: Hutzinger O (ed) The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp 169–227Google Scholar
  16. Craig PJ, Rapsomanikis S (1982) A new route to tris(dimethylsulfide) with tetramethyltin as co-product; the wider implications of this and some other reactions leading to tetramethyltin and -lead from iodomethane. J Chem Soc, Chem Commun 114Google Scholar
  17. DiSpirito AA, Tuovinen OH (1982) Uranous ion oxidation and carbon dioxide fixation by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. Arch Microbiol 133: 28–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dugan PR, Apel WA (1978) Microbiological desulfurization of coal. In: Murr LE, Torma AE, Brierley JA (eds) Applications of Bacterial Leaching and Related Microbiological Phenomena. New York: Academic Press, pp 223–250.Google Scholar
  19. Dunn GM, Bull AT (1983) Bioaccumulation of copper by a defined community of activated sludge bacteria. Eur J Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 17: 30–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ehrlich HL (1978) Inorganic energy sources for chemolithotrophic and autotrophic bacteria. Geomicrobiol J 1: 65–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Furr AK, Lawrence AW, Tong SSC, Grandolfo MC, Hofstader RA, Bache CA, Gutenmann WH, Lisk DJ (1976) Multielement and chlorinated hydrocarbon analysis of municipal sewage sludges of American cities. Envir Sci Technol 10: 683–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gale NL, Wixson BG (1978) Removal of heavy metals from industrial effluents by algae. Dev Ind Microbiol 20: 259–273Google Scholar
  23. Gokcay CF, Yurteri RN (1983) Microbial desulfurization of lignites by a thermophilic bacterium. Fuel 62: 1223–1224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hallberg RO, Bubela B, Ferguson J (1980) Metal chelation in sedimentary systems. Geomicrobiol J 2: 99–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoffman MR, Faust BC, Panda FA, Koo HH, Tsuchiya HM (1981) Kinetics of the removal of iron pyrite from coal by microbial catalysis. Appl Envir Microbiol 42: 259–271Google Scholar
  26. Holmes DS, Lobos JH, Bopp LH, Welch GC (1984) Cloning of a Thiobacillus ferrooxidans plasmid in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol 157: 324–326PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Iverson WP (1972) Biological corrosion. In: Fontana MG (ed) Advances in Corrosion Science and Technology, vol 2. New York: Plenum PressGoogle Scholar
  28. Jack TR, Sullivan EA, Zajic JE (1980) Growth inhibition of Thiobacillus thiooxidans by metals and reductive detoxification of vanadium(V). Eur J Appl Microbiol 9: 21–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jarvie AW, Whitmore AP (1981) Methylation of elemental lead and lead(II) salts in aqueous solution. Envir Technol Lett 2: 197–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kargi F (1982) Microbiological coal desulphurization. Enzyme Microbiol Technol 4: 13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kelly DP, Norris PR, Brierley CL (1979) Microbiological methods for the extraction and recovery of metals. In: Bull AT, Ellwood DC, Ratledge C (eds) Microbial Technology: Current State, Future Prospects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 263–308.Google Scholar
  32. LeRoux NW (1970) Mineral attack by microbiological processes. In: Miller JDA (ed) Microbial Aspects of Metallurgy. New York: American Elsevier, pp 173–182.Google Scholar
  33. Lundgren DG, Malouf EE (1983) Microbial extraction and concentration of metals. Adv Biotechnol Proc 1: 223–249Google Scholar
  34. Manders WR, Olson GJ, Brinckman FE, Bellama JM (1984) A novel synthesis of methyltin triiodide with environmental implications. J Chem Soc, Chem Commun 1984: 538–540Google Scholar
  35. Mao MWH, Dugan PR, Martin PAW, Tuovinen OH (1980) Plasmid DNA in chemoorganotrophic Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and T. acidophilus. FEMS Microbiol Lett 8: 121–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nelson PO, Cheng AK, Hudson MC (1981) Factors affecting the fate of heavy metals in the activated sludge process. J Wat Poll Control Fed 53: 1323–1333Google Scholar
  37. Norris PR, Kelly DP (1982) The use of mixed microbial cultures in metal recovery. In: Bull AT, Slater JH (eds) Microbial Interactions and Communities. London: Academic Press, pp 443–474.Google Scholar
  38. Olson GJ, Porter FD, Rubenstein J, Silver S (1982) Mercuric reductase enzyme from a mercury-volatilizing strain of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. J Bacteriol 151: 1230–1236PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Pan-Hou HKS, Imura N (1981) Role of hydrogen sulfide in mercury resistance determined by plasmid of Clostridium cochlearium T-2. Arch Microbiol 129: 49–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Postgate JR (1979) The Sulphate Reducing Bacteria. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  41. Raymond KN, Carrano CJ (1979) Coordination chemistry and microbial iron transport. Acc Chem Res 12: 183–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schonborn W, Hartmann H (1978) Bacterial leaching of metals from sewage sludge. Eur J Appl Microbiol 5: 305–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Siegel SM, Siegel BZ, Clark KE (1983) Bio-corrosion: solubilization and accumulation of metals by fungi. Water Air Soil Poll 19: 229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Silver S (1983) Bacterial transformations of and resistances to heavy metals. In: Changing Metal Cycles and Human Health. Dahlem Konferenzen. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer-VerlagGoogle Scholar
  45. Silverman MP, Munoz EF (1971) Fungal leaching of titanium from rock. Appl Microbiol 22: 923–924PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Singer PC, Stumm W (1970) Acidic mine drainage: The rate-determining step. Science 167: 1121–1123Google Scholar
  47. Spisak JF (1978) Metallurgical effluents - growing challenges for second generation treatment. Dev Ind Microbiol 20: 249–257Google Scholar
  48. Sterritt RM, Lester JN (1979) The microbiological control of mine waste pollution. Min Envir 1: 45–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Strandberg GW, Shumate SE, Parrott JR (1981) Microbial cells as biosorbents for heavy metals: Accumulation of uranium by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Appl Envir Microbiol 41: 237–245Google Scholar
  50. Temple KL, Colmer AR (1951) The autotrophic oxidation of iron by a new bacterium, Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. J Bacteriol 62: 605–611Google Scholar
  51. Thayer JS, Brinckman FE (1982) The biological methylation of metals and metalloids. In: Stone FGA, West R (eds) Advances in Organometallic Chemistry, vol 20. New York: Academic Press, pp 313–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thayer JS, Olson GJ, Brinckman FE (1984) Iodomethane as a potential metal mobilizing agent in nature. Envir Sci Technol 18: 726–729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Vuorinen A, Hiltunen P, Hsu JC, Tuovinen OH (1983) Solubilization and speciation of iron during pyrite oxidation by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. Geomicrobiol J 3: 95–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wenberg GM, Erbisch FH, Volin ME (1971) Leaching of copper by fungi. Soc Mining Eng AIME 250: 207–212Google Scholar
  55. Wood JM, Cheh A, Dizikes LJ, Ridley WP, Rakow S, Lakowicz JR (1978) Mechanisms for the biomethylation of metals and metalloids. Fed Proc 37: 16–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Wood JM, Wang HK (1983) Microbial resistance to heavy metals. Envir Sci Technol 17: 582A - 590ACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yen TF, Chilingar GV (1976) Introduction to oil shales. In: Yen TF, Chilingarian GV (eds) Oil Shale. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. S. Bernhard, Dahlem Konferenzen 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Olson
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical and Biodegradation Processes GroupNational Bureau of StandardsUSA

Personalised recommendations