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Remediation of chromium contaminants using bacteria

Author(s): P. Kanmani | J. Aravind | P. Devasia

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
ISSN 1735-1472

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 183;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Bioreduction | Biosorption | Chromate reductase | Chromium | Resistance | Toxicity

Chromium contaminants emanating from industrial activities pose a significant threat to human’s well-being. Chromium (III) and Chromium (VI) are the forms in which they are commonly encountered, of which the trivalent form is relatively benign. Hence, biological reduction of hexavalent chromium has been widely explored by researchers, yielding fruitful outcomes, opening up exciting avenues and also throwing up new challenges. This article attempts to review this area of research. Microbes, especially bacteria capable of Chromium (VI) reduction, belonging to a heterogeneous group have been isolated from contaminated sites. They exhibit plasmid-mediated chromate resistance and the reduction is enzymatically mediated. Reduction studies have been carried out with free and immobilized enzymes as well as whole cells. Experiments have been carried out in specifically designed bioreactors operated in batch and continuous modes. Although significant progress has been made, much needs to be done for its successful in situ application as the organism may not withstand the Chromium concentration or may be impeded by the presence of other toxicants. With molecular engineering, it may be possible to derive strains with improved performance even under stressful field conditions.
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