Bacteria immobilisation on hydroxyapatite surface for heavy metals removal

C. Piccirillo, S. I. A. Pereira, A. P. G. C. Marques, R. C. Pullar, D. M. Tobaldi, M. E. Pintado, P. M. L. Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Selected bacterial strains were immobilised on the surface of hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 - HAp) of natural origin (fish bones). The capacity of the material, alone and in combination with the bacterial strains to act as heavy metal removers from aqueous streams was assessed. Pseudomonas fluorescens (S3X), Microbacterium oxydans (EC29) and Cupriavidus sp. (1C2) were chosen based on their resistance to heavy metals and capacity of adsorbing the metals.These systems were tested using solutions of Zn(II), Cd(II) and in solutions containing both metals. A synergistic effect between the strains and HAp, which is effective in removing the target heavy metals on its own, was observed, as the combination of HAp with the bacterial strains led to higher adsorption capacity for both elements.For the solutions containing only one metal the synergistic effect was greater for higher metal concentrations; 1C2 and EC29 were the most effective strains for Zn(II) and Cd(II) respectively, while S3X was less effective. Overall, an almost four-fold increase was observed for the maximum adsorption capacity for Zn(II) when 1C2 was employed - 0.433 mmol/g in comparison of 0.121 mmol/g for the unmodified HAp. For Cd(II), on the other hand, an almost three-fold increase was registered with EC29 bacterial strain - 0.090 vs 0.036 mmol/g for the unmodified HAp. When the solutions containing both metals were tested, the effect was more marked for lower concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2013


  • Bacterial strains
  • Biofilm
  • Biosorption
  • Heavy metals adsorption
  • Hydroxyapatite


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