Biological Treatment Of Mercury Wastes Essay by The Research Group

Biological Treatment Of Mercury Wastes
Examines history, process, types, effectiveness and examples.
# 14809 | 1,350 words | 13 sources | 1999 | US
Published on Feb 16, 2003 in Biology (General) , Environmental Studies (General)

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Introduction. It would seem paradoxical that biological systems could be put to useful work treating as toxic a substance as mercury. But in limited ways and degrees this has occurred, and the successes are reviewed here.

Theory of Mercury Transformation Process(es). "Perhaps the most toxic metals are the nonessential metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury" (7:318). Some microorganisms that encounter these metals have developed strategies to prevent entry of them into their cells or literally to pump them back out again: sequestration, active transport, or chemical transformation (7:319). The last of these (oxidation-reduction reactions) is used to reduce the mercuric ion, Hg+2 [also written as Hg(II)] to elemental, metallic mercury, Hg0, which is volatile and can thus ..."

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