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Arsenic Bioremediation by Indigenous Heavy Metal Resistant Bacteria of Fly Ash Pond

Roychowdhury, Roopali, Roy, Madhumita, Rakshit, Annanya, Sarkar, Sangita, Mukherjee, Pritam
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2018 v.101 no.4 pp. 527-535
Kytococcus, Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, arsenates, arsenic, arsenites, bacteria, biomass, bioremediation, byproducts, coal, drinking water, environmental degradation, fly ash, heavy metals, heterotrophs, leaching, maximum contaminant level, metal tolerance, oxidation, ponds, power plants, toxicity
Fly ash (FA), the major by-product of coal-fired thermal power plants, causes significant environmental degradation owing to its injurious heavy metal contents. Leaching of arsenic (As) from ash ponds is especially significant as As released from FA can increase As concentration of drinking water above maximum contaminant level of 10 ppb. The aim of this paper was demonstration of As bioremediation potential of indigenous As resistant bacteria present in the weathered pond ash sample. Ten isolates belonging to Bacillus, Micrococcus, Kytococcus and Staphylococcus genera were characterized. Biochemical tests showed reduction of relatively non toxic arsenate to more toxic arsenite by two strains while four strains showed oxidation of arsenite to arsenate. Two exoplolysaccharide producing strains were shown to absorb As within their biomass. Total heterotrophs versus As resistant heterotrophs counting performed showed that FA was enriched with As resistant heterotrophs. Column leaching based microcosm study revealed overall As detoxification potential of the isolated microbes.