Navigation Links
Biological selenium removal: The solution to pollution?
Date:9/15/2008

MADISON, WI, AUGUST 25, 2008 Selenium has been referred to as an "essential toxin" due to the fact that it shows only a marginal line between the nutritious requirement and toxic effects upon exposure. The steep dose response curve due to bioaccumulation effects have lead to the characterization of selenium as a "time bomb" that can be fused by exceeding a narrow threshold concentration in ecosystems through anthropogenic activities. Ironically, an estimated 0.5 to 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency, whereas areas of toxicity can be separated from selenium deficient areas by only 20 km.

The microbiological treatment of selenium - so called "dissimilatory metal reduction" - could supersede this problem, as selenium-reducing microorganisms are highly selective for selenate, reducing it to insoluble, less-toxic elemental selenium that can potentially be recovered from the process.

A study funded by the European Union, published in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, demonstrates that the biological treatment is indeed efficient for selenate reduction, and substantial amounts of selenate are converted to methylated selenium species or nano-sized elemental selenium particles. The emission of nano-sized selenium particles is problematic, as these can become bioavailable by direct assimilation or reoxidize to selenite and selenate. Dimethlyselenide and dimethyldiselenide, two species with unknown ecotoxicological long-term effects, contributed substantially to selenium dissolved in the effluent. Their formation was induced by minor temperature changes during biological reduction, thus a careful process control might drastically increase removal success of existing biotreatment systems for selenium and is a prerequisite for successful removal in full scale applications.

Consequently, remediative systems aiming at minimizing ecotoxicological risks on the one hand and selenium recovery and reuse on the other hand should be implemented. Due to the "high volume - low concentration" character, no sustainable solution has been found yet to treat selenium-contaminated drainage waters originating from the San Joachin Valley, one of the agriculturally most productive areas of the US (a comprehensive report by the USGS is available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1646/pdf/pp1646.pdf).


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@soils.org
608-268-4948
Soil Science Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mate selection more biologically determined in some human populations
2. Interdisciplinary volume on biological rhythms serves as both primer and in-depth resource
3. Biological invasions increasing due to freshwater impoundments, says CU-Boulder study
4. Study shows more genes are controlled by biological clocks
5. Light receptors in eye play key role in setting biological clock, study shows
6. Francisella tularensis: Stopping a biological weapon
7. Tips on how to build a better home for biological parts
8. Genomics of large marine animals showcased in the biological bulletin
9. Securing the future of Europes biological data resources
10. Religion and the narrative of biological science
11. AIBS honors outstanding contributions to the biological sciences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... The Children’s ... genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects ... , Through numerous community events held during the month of May, as well as ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... India , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (DNA Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene Expression) ... End user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), Fabrication ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... from USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, growing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Flagship Biosciences, the leader in ... its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from Charles River Laboratories (CRL), ... Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett joined Charles River in ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... THE WOODLANDS, Texas , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... board certified plastic surgeon in The Woodlands, ... technology that destroys 24 percent of treated fat cells ... men and woman. Close to 90 percent of Americans ... effective treatment options. Nonsurgical fat reduction procedures are a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: