Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 8 No. May 2014 Special Edition

Heavy Metals Bioremediation from Soil and Water using Microorganisms

Sobhy M. Yakout1,2*, Ahmed A. Abdeltawab3,4 and Ashraf A. Mostafa5

1Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 2Hot Laboratories Center, Atomic Energy Authority, P.O. Box 13759, Cairo, Egypt. 3Petrochemical Research Chair, Chemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box, 2455, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 4Chemical Engineering Departments, Tabbin Institute for Metallurgical Studies, Cairo 11413, Egypt. 5Botany and Microbiology Dept., Collage of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Received on 12 January 2014; and accepted on 08 March 2014



A vast array of microorganisms, especially bacteria, algae, yeasts, fungi and periphytons have received increasing attention for heavy metal removal and recovery due to their good performance, low cost and large available quantities. They are unlike mono functional ion exchange resins, contains variety of functional sites including carboxyl, imidazole, sulphydryl, amino, phosphate, sulfate, thioether, phenol, carbonyl, amide and hydroxyl moieties. They are cheaper, more effective alternatives for the removal of metallic elements, especially heavy metals from soil and aqueous solution. In this study, the application of microorganisms for removing heavy metal from soil and water, is introduced and described based on mechanisms such as assimilation, adsorption, and biodegradation. The advantages regarding the use of microorganisms to remove pollutants are discussed.

Keywords : Bioremediation, Heavy metals, Microorganisms.