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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Ed. by Qaim, Syed M.

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Volume 89, Issue 8 (Aug 2001)


Interaction of aerobic soil bacteria with plutonium(VI)

P. Panak / Heino Nitsche
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2001.89.8.499

We studied the interaction of Pu(VI) with Pseudomonas stutzeri ATCC 17588 and Bacillus sphaericus ATCC 14577, representatives of the main aerobic groups of soil bacteria present in the upper soil layers. The biosorption studies have shown that these soil bacteria accumulate high amounts of Pu(VI). The relative sorption efficiency toward Pu(VI) related to the amount of biomass used decreased with increasing biomass concentration due to increased agglomeration of the bacteria resulting in a decrease of the number of available complexing groups. Spores of Bacillus sphaericus showed a higher biosorption than the vegetative cells at low biomass concentration which decreased significantly with increasing biomass concentration. At higher biomass concentrations (>0.7 g/L), the vegetative cells of both strains and the spores of B. sphaericus showed comparable sorption efficiencies. Investigations on the pH dependency of the biosorption and extraction studies with 0.01 M EDTA solution have shown that the biosorption of plutonium is a reversible process and the plutonium is bound by surface complexation. Optical absorption spectroscopy showed that one third of the initially present Pu(VI) was reduced to Pu(V) after 24 hours. Kinetic studies and solvent extraction to separate different oxidation states of Pu after contact with the biomass provided further information on the yield and the kinetics of the bacteria-mediated reduction. Long-term studies showed that also 16% of Pu(IV) was formed after one month. The slow kinetics of this process indicate that under our experimental conditions the Pu(IV) was not a produced by microbial reduction but seemed to be rather the result of the disproportionation of the formed Pu(V) or autoreduction of Pu(VI).

About the article

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2001-08-01

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta, ISSN (Online) 2193-3405, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2001.89.8.499. Export Citation

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