BHU Researchers Find Bacteria That Kill Toxic Metal In Water

Varanasi: The School of Biochemical Engineering in IIT, Banaras Hindu University, has claimed to have isolated a new bacterial strain from a contaminated site which can remove toxic hexavalent chromium from water.

Hexavalent chromium is a heavy metal ion that could result in myriad health complications in humans, including different types of cancers, kidney and liver malfunctioning and infertility.

The researchers, Dr Vishal Mishra and Ph.D student Veer Singh, said that this new bacterial strain is able to absorb large concentrations of hexavalent chromium.

“It is very effective for removal of hexavalent chromium from waste water when compared to other conventional methods. This bacterial strain showed fast growth rate in the Cr (VI) containing aqueous medium and easily separated from the aqueous medium after the water treatment process,” Mishra said.

He further informed that this bacterial strain is very advantageous as there is no need for an extra separation process after its removal from wastewater. The researchers said they have tested hexavalent chromium removal capacity of this bacterial strain in industrial and synthetic wastewater and the results were satisfactory.

He also claimed to have tested the hexavalent chromium removal mechanism in the bacterial cells.

According to a statement issued by the BHU, the research reported that several heavy metal tolerance mechanisms were activated in bacterial cells when they were grown in the hexavalent chromium containing growth medium.

He added that their research work has already been published in ‘Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering’, a reputed international publication. The research was focused on the cost-effective and eco-friendly method of removing toxic metal ions such as hexavalent chromium from water.