Proton and Cd Adsorption onto Natural Bacterial Consortia: Testing Universal Adsorption Behavior


Bacterial surface adsorption can control metal distributions in some natural systems, yet it is unclear whether natural bacterial consortia differ in their adsorption behaviors. In this study, we conduct potentiometric titration and metal adsorption experiments to measure proton and Cd adsorption onto a range of bacterial consortia. We model the experimental data using a surface complexation approach to determine thermodynamic stability constants. Our results indicate that these consortia adsorb similar extents of protons and Cd and that the adsorption onto all of the consortia can be modeled using a single set of stability constants. Consortia of bacteria cultured from natural environments also adsorb metals to lesser extents than individual strains of laboratory-cultivated species. This study suggests that a wide range of bacterial species exhibit similar adsorption behaviors, potentially simplifying the task of modeling the distribution and speciation of metals in bacteria-bearing natural systems. Current models for bacteria-metal adsorption that rely on pure strains of laboratory-cultivated species likely overpredict the amount of bacteria-metal adsorption in natural systems.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

adsorption; bacterium; biogeochemistry; cadmium; Bacteria (microorganisms)

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2004 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2004