Aerobic and anaerobic biosynthesis of nano-selenium for remediation of mercury contaminated soil.

Author(s) Wang, X.; Zhang, D.; Pan, X.; Lee, D.J.; Al-Misned, F.A.; Mortuza, G.; Gadd, G.Michael
Journal Chemosphere
Date Published 2017 Mar

Selenium (Se) nanoparticles are often synthesized by anaerobes. However, anaerobic bacteria cannot be directly applied for bioremediation of contaminated top soil which is generally aerobic. In this study, a selenite-reducing bacterium, Citrobacter freundii Y9, demonstrated high selenite reducing power and produced elemental nano-selenium nanoparticles (nano-Se(0)) under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The biogenic nano-Se(0) converted 45.8-57.1% and 39.1-48.6% of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) in the contaminated soil to insoluble mercuric selenide (HgSe) under anaerobic and aerobic conditions, respectively. Addition of sodium dodecyl sulfonate enhanced Hg(0) remediation, probably owing to the release of intracellular nano-Se(0) from the bacterial cells for Hg fixation. The reaction product after remediation was identified as non-reactive HgSe that was formed by amalgamation of nano-Se(0) and Hg(0). Biosynthesis of nano-Se(0) both aerobically and anaerobically therefore provides a versatile and cost-effective remediation approach for Hg(0)-contaminated surface and subsurface soils, where the redox potential often changes dramatically.

DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.020
ISSN 1879-1298
Citation Chemosphere. 2017;170:266273.

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