IIT-BHU researchers isolate bacterial strain that separates toxic metal from waste water
The bacterial strain, isolated by IIT-BHU researchers, was able to tolerate large concentrations of toxic metal like hexavalent chromium and remove it from waste water in most effective and eco-friendly manner
Researchers at School of Biochemical Engineering, IIT-BHU have isolated a new bacterial strain from a contaminated site that can remove toxic hexavalent chromium from waste water in most effective and eco-friendly manner.
Hexavalent chromium is a heavy metal ion that is used in different industries and is responsible for health problems in humans like cancers, kidney and liver malfunctioning and infertility, said researchers Dr Vishal Mishra and his Ph.D student Veer Singh.
Dr Mishra said this new strain -- Microbacterium paraoxydans strain VSVM IIT(BHU) -- was able to tolerate large concentrations of hexavalent chromium.
“It is very effective for removal of hexavalent chromium from wastewater compared to other conventional methods. This bacterial strain showed fast growth rate in the Hexavalent chromium-- Cr (VI)-- containing aqueous medium and gets easily separated from the aqueous medium after the treatment process,” he said.
He said this bacterial strain doesn’t require an extra separation process after removal.
Bacterial mediated wastewater treatment process is very inexpensive and non-toxic because there was no involvement of expensive equipment and chemicals, he said.
The researchers have tested hexavalent chromium removal capacity of this bacterial strain in industrial and synthetic waste water and have found satisfactory results.
They also tested the mechanism in bacterial cells.
“The research showed that several heavy metal tolerance mechanisms get activated in bacterial cells when they are grown in hexavalent chromium containing growth medium,” he added.
The research work has already been published in reputed international journal “Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering (Impact factor 5.9).
This research is focused on cost-effective and eco-friendly method for removal of toxic metal ions such from water.
“This bacteria can easily cultivate and remove hexavalent chromium in an effective way. No skilled labour is required for this. It is inexpensive, non-toxic and easy to use/employ. Also, separation after usage does not require large energy input and removes hexavalent chromium until the discharge limit of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),” he added.