Diploma project

Characterization of interaction between selected bacteria with selenium compounds

Diploma student:
Paula Luthardt
Sarah Fischer, Dr. Robin Steudtner (HZDR)
Surface Processes
Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Henle (Technische Universität Dresden)

Short description:

Selenium is an important trace metal for organisms and is found in indispensable proteins such as antioxidant enzymes. However, in humans, the range between deficiency and toxicity is extremely narrow. Selenium is commonly used in industrial processes such as the production of semiconductors but is a toxic environmental pollutant in wastewaters and soils. The content of selenium cations in water and soil plays a special role in human uptake via the food chain.

The microbial reduction of soluble selenium cations into insoluble elemental selenium presents a unique opportunity to decontaminate industrial waste. The resulting selenium precipitates in particles for which reduced toxicity was observed.

The aim of this diploma thesis is to investigate the reduction ability of selected bacteria strains. In addition, the developing particles and other metabolites will be characterized.