Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Interactions of microbes found at Äspö underground lab with actinides such as curium, plutonium and uranium
Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) frequently occur in the deep granitic rock aquifers at the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (Äspö HRL), Sweden. The new SRB strain Desulfovibrio äspöensis could be isolated. Results describing the basic interaction mechanisms of uranium, curium, and plutonium with cells of D. äspöensis DSM 10631T will be presented. The interaction experiments with the actinides showed that the cells are able to remove all three actinides from the surrounding solution. The amount of removed actinide and the interaction mechanism varied among the different actinides.
The main U(VI) removal occurred after the first 24 h. The contact time, pH and [U(VI)]initial influence the U removal efficiency. The presence of uranium caused a damaging of the cell membranes. TEM revealed an accumulation of U inside the bacterial cell. D. äspöensis are able to form U(IV). A complex interaction mechanism takes place consisting of biosorption, bioreduction and bioaccumulation.
In the case of 242Pu, solvent extractions, UV-vis- and XANES spectroscopy were used to determine the speciation of the Pu oxidation states. In the first step, the Pu(VI) and Pu(IV)-polymers are bound to the biomass. Solvent extractions showed that 97 % of the initially present Pu(VI) is reduced to Pu(V) due to the activity of the cells within the first 24 h of contact time. Most of the formed Pu(V) dissolves from the cell envelope back to the aqueous solution due to the weak complexing properties of this plutonium oxidation state. Indications were found for a penetration of Pu species inside the bacterial cells.
In the case of curium at a much lower metal concentration of 3x10-7 M, a pure biosorption of Cm(III) on the cell envelope forming an inner-sphere surface complex most likely with organic phosphate groups was detected.
To summarize, the strength of the interaction of D. äspöensis with the selected actinides at pH 5 and actinide concentrations ≥ 10 mg/L ([Cm] 0.07 mg/L) follows the pattern: Cm > U > Pu.
Keywords: microbial interactions; Desulfovibrio äspöensis; actinides
2nd Annual Workshop of the IP FUNMIG, 21.-23.11.2006, Stockholm, Sweden
Contribution to proceedings
2nd Annual Workshop of the IP FUNMIG, 21.-23.11.2006, Stockholm, Schweden
Interactions of microbes found at Äspö underground lab with actinides such as Curium, Plutonium and Uranium, Bromma: CM Digitaltryck AB,, 1404-0344, 131-137