Bioreduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) to sparingly soluble trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) is a strategy for the remediation of Cr(VI) contaminated sites. However, its application is limited due to the slow bioreduction process. Here we explored the potential synergistic enhancement of iron(III) minerals (nontronite NAu-2, ferrihydrite, and goethite) and electron shuttle anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) on the bioreduction of Cr(VI) by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. AQDS alone increased the bioreduction rate of Cr(VI) by accelerating electron transfer from MR-1 to Cr(VI). Iron minerals alone did not increase the bioreduction rate of Cr(VI), where the electron transfer from MR-1 to Fe(III) minerals was inhibited due to the toxicity of Cr(VI) to MR-1. AQDS plus NAu-2 or ferrihydrite significantly enhanced the bioreduction rate of Cr(VI) as compared to AQDS or NAu-2/ferrihydrite alone, demonstrating that AQDS plus NAu-2/ferrihydrite had the synergistic effect on bioreduction of Cr(VI). Synergy factor (kcells+Fe+AQDS/(kcells+Fe + kcells+AQDS)) was used to quantify the synergistic effect of AQDS and iron minerals on the bioreduction of Cr(VI). The synergy factors of AQDS plus NAu-2 were 2.09–4.63 (three Cr(VI) spikes), and the synergy factors of AQDS plus ferrihydrite were 1.89–4.61 (two Cr(VI) spikes). In the presence of Cr(VI), AQDS served as the electron shuttle between MR-1 and iron minerals, facilitating the reduction of Fe(III) minerals to Fe(II). The synergistic enhancement of AQDS and NAu-2/ferrihydrite was attributed to the generated Fe(II), which could quickly reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III). Our results provide an attractive strategy to strengthen the bio-immobilization of Cr(VI) at iron-rich contaminated sites through the synergistic enhancement of iron(III) minerals and electron shuttle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal