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Bioremediation of antimony polluted soil

Angelopoulou Vasiliki

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Year 2022
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Vasiliki Angelopoulou, "Bioremediation of antimony polluted soil", Diploma Work, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2022
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The existence of high concentrations of heavy metals in soil harms the environment but also human health, as a result of the food chain as well as the polluted water. Bioremediation is a sustainable and economic technology based on the removal of pollutants from the environment in biological ways which are the use of microorganisms. In the present diploma thesis, the bioremediation of antimony (Sb) which belongs to the category of heavy metals with the presence of bacteria will be specifically analyzed, as well as a reference will be made to the bacterial strains and a community that were able to grow in the presence of antimony and on the other hand to reduce the total initial concentration of antimony. More specifically, twenty-five bacterial strains resistant to Sb (III) were isolated from contaminated soil originating from a shooting range in Switzerland. Among these strains and in one community, nineteen strains were able to grow in nutrients with the addition of antimony while at the same time 5 strains B1_5, C1_6, B1_4, B1_7, C1_9, as well as the B2 community were found able to oxidize Sb (III) and reduce the total concentration of antimony. More specifically, after the experimental procedures, it was found that there was a reduction that reached up to 78% of the initial concentration. It was also found that the above strains and community B2 with the qualitative method of potassium permanganate were able to convert trivalent antimony into pentavalent which is 10 times less toxic than trivalent. In addition, continued research, and future discoveries on the ability of microorganisms to conserve energy from antimony redox reactions and the isolation of new species of antimonotrophs are necessary to better understand the metabolic pathways of microorganisms and the mechanisms of antimony reduction.

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