Can microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) through a ureolytic pathway be successfully applied for removing heavy metals from wastewaters?

Álvaro Esteban Torres-Aravena, Carla Duarte-Nass, Laura Azócar, Rodrigo Mella-Herrera, Mariella Rivas, David Jeison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) through a ureolytic pathway is a process that promotes calcite precipitation as a result of the urease enzymatic activity of several microorganisms. It has been studied for different technological applications, such as soil bio-consolidation, bio-cementation, CO2 sequestration, among others. Recently, this process has been proposed as a possible process for removing heavy metals from contaminated soils. However, no research has been reported dealing with the MICP process for heavy metal removal from wastewater/waters. This (re)view proposes to consider to such possibility. The main characteristics of MICP are presented and discussed. The precipitation of heavy metals contained in wastewaters/waters via MICP is exanimated based on process characteristics. Moreover, challenges for its successful implementation are discussed, such as the heavy metal tolerance of inoculum, ammonium release as product of urea hydrolysis, and so on. A semi-continuous operation in two steps (cell growth and bio-precipitation) is proposed. Finally, the wastewater from some typical industries releasing heavy metals are examined, discussing the technical barriers and feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number438
JournalCrystals
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioprecipitation
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP)
  • Wastewater treatment

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