Mechanism of adsorption of ferric iron by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from a bacterium Acidiphilium sp.

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The aim of this study was to assess the sorption of Fe(III) by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of the Acidiphilium 3.2Sup(5) bacterium, which has promising properties for use in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The EPS of A. 3.2Sup(5) was extracted using EDTA. The sorption isotherms were determined using aliquots of purified EPS. The exosubstances loaded with metal were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The sorption uptake approaches to 536.1 ± 26.6 mg Fe(III) (g EPS)−1 at an initial ferric concentration of 2.0 g l−1. The sorption of Fe(III) by EPS can be fitted to the Freundlich model. The sorption process produces hydrated iron (III) oxalate [Fe(OH)(C2O4) × 2H2O] by a reversible reaction (log K = 1.06 ± 0.16), indicating that a shift in the sorption of the cation can be easily achieved. Know the magnitude and form of iron sorption by EPS in MFC can foresee the potential impact on the metabolism of iron-reducing and iron-oxidazing bacteria and, therefore, on the feasibility of the system.

Keywords: Acidiphilium, EPS, ferric iron, iron oxalate, MFC, sorption

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