Bioreduction of natural specular hematite under flow conditions


Dissimilatory reduction of Fe(III) by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 was evaluated using natural specular hematite as sole electron acceptor in an open system under dynamic flow conditions to obtain a better understanding of biologic Fe(III) reduction in the natural environment. During initial exposure to hematite under advective flow conditions, cells exhibited a transient association with the mineral characterized by a rapid rate of attachment followed by a comparable rate of detachment before entering a phase of surface colonization that was slower but steadier than that observed initially. Accumulation of cells on the hematite surface was accompanied by the release of soluble Fe(II) into the aqueous phase when no precautions were taken to remove amorphous Fe(III) from the mineral surface before colonization. During the period of surface colonization following the detachment phase, cell yield was estimated at 1.5–4 107 cells/µmol Fe(II) produced, which is similar to that reported in studies conducted in closed systems. This yield does not take into account those cells that detached during this phase or the Fe(II) that remained associated with the hematite surface. Hematite reduction by the bacterium led to localized surface pitting and localized discrete areas where Fe (II) precipitation occurred. The cleavage plane of hematite left behind after bacterial reduction, as revealed by our results, strongly suggests, that heterogeneous energetics of the mineral surface play a strong role in this bioprocess. AQDS, an electron shuttle shown to stimulate bioreduction of Fe(III) in other studies, inhibited reduction of hematite by this bacterium under the dynamic flow conditions employed in the current study.




Gonzalez-Gil G, Amonette JE, Romine MF, Gorby YA, Geesey GG, "Bioreduction of natural specular hematite under flow conditions," Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 2005 69(5):1145-1155
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