DOI: 10.3390/microbiolres15010003 ISSN: 2036-7481

Biodegradation of Free Cyanide by a New Isolated Alkaliphilic Bacillus licheniformis Strain

Daniel Uribe-Ramírez, Eliseo Cristiani-Urbina, Liliana Morales-Barrera
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

Microbial treatment of free-cyanide-polluted wastewater is a cost-effective, efficient, and eco-friendly method. Free-cyanide-degrading microbial cultures were isolated from different sources using batch-enrichment culture techniques, with acetate as the carbon source. Five microbial cultures were able to tolerate and grow at 1500 mg/L free cyanide, which was used as the only nitrogen source under strongly alkaline conditions (pH = 11). Among them, one bacterial strain (B11) was selected for further study because of its high free-cyanide-biodegradation efficiency. Bacterial strain B11 was molecularly identified as Bacillus licheniformis CDBB B11. Free cyanide inhibited the growth rate of B. licheniformis CDBB B11 at initial cyanide concentrations >75 mg/L. Despite this, the bacterial strain demonstrated 100% cyanide-biodegradation efficiency at initial cyanide concentrations ranging from 25 to 75 mg/L, which decreased to 32% as the initial cyanide concentration increased from 75 to 1500 mg/L. Free-cyanide biodegradation corresponds to bacterial growth and ammonia accumulation in the culture medium. The alkaliphilic B. licheniformis CDBB B11 strain is a robust candidate for the detoxification of free-cyanide-laden wastewater because it tolerates and efficiently degrades free cyanide at concentrations of up to 1500 mg/L.

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