Detoxification of hexavalent chromate by Amphibacillus sp. KSUCr3 cells immobilised in silica-coated magnetic alginate beads
Recently isolated Cr(VI)-reducing Amphibacillus KSUCr3 whole cells were immobilised in magnetic gels. Magnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were synthesised with an average particle size of 47 nm and 80 electromagnetic unit (emu)/g saturation magnetisation. Whole cells were immobilised by entrapment in agar, agarose, alginate, or gelatin in the presence or absence of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for the preparation of both magnetic and nonmagnetic immobilised cells. Of the gels tested, alginate was selected as the best immobilisation matrix, and following optimisation of the entrapment process, the immobilisation yield reached 92.5%. In addition to the ease of separation and reuse of the magnetic cell-containing alginate beads using an external magnet, the magnetically immobilised cells showed approximately 16% higher Cr(VI) reduction activity compared with nonmagnetic immobilised cells. To improve their physical and mechanical properties, the magnetic alginate beads were successfully coated with a dense silica layer using sol-gel chemistry and Ca(OH)2, an alkaline catalyst for tetraethyl orthosilicate, to avoid leaching of Ca2+ ions. Amphibacillus KSUCr3 cells immobilised in silica-coated magnetic alginate beads showed approximately 1.4- to 3.9-fold enhancement of thermal stability compared with free cells. Furthermore, after seven batch cycles, the Cr(VI) reduction activity of free cells decreased to 48%, whereas immobilised cells still retained 81.1% of their original activity. In addition, the Cr(VI)-reduction rate of immobilised cells was higher relative to free cells, especially at higher Cr(VI) concentrations. These results supported the development of a novel, efficient biocatalysts for Cr(VI) detoxification using a combination of whole cell immobilisation, sol-gel chemistry, and nanotechnology. © 2013 The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
570: Biowissenschaften, Biologie