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Silver Sorption to Myxococcus xanthus Biomass

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This paper deals with silver sorption to Myxococcus xanthus biomass. The dry biomass of this microorganism is shown to be a good sorbent for the recovery of silver present at low solution concentrations. Between initial silver concentrations of 2 and 0.05 mM, the percentage of accumulation ranges from 8.12% to 75% of the total silver present in the solution. Transmission electron microscopy study of M. xanthus wet biomass after silver accumulation shows the sorption within the extracellular polysaccharide, on the cell wall, and in the cytoplasm. The presence of silver deposits in the cytoplasm indicates that at least two mechanisms are involved in silver sorption by this bacterium biomass. First, silver was bound to the cell surface and extracellular polysaccharide, and second, a silver intracellular deposition process took place. The higher amount of silver deposits in the extracellular polysaccharide, present abundantly in M. xanthus cells, explains the capacity of this bacterium to bind silver efficiently. The results obtained indicate that the removal of silver by M. xanthus from the diluted solutions could be used in recycling this valuable metal. One interesting observation of this investigation is the crystalline form, possibly as chlorargyrite, in which the silver deposits are found in the M. xanthus cells.


Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology University of Granada, Granada, Spain 2: Department of Microbiology University of Jaen, Jaen, Spain 3: Department of Analytical Chemistry University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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