Manganese Oxidation, Pseudomonas, and Potential Mercury Remediation
Wright, Kendra L.
Han, Fengxiang X.
East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, TN was highly contaminated with elemental mercury in the 1950 and 1960. The area is still experiencing the effects of mercury contamination, and researchers are searching for ways to remediate the EFPC. One possible mechanism for bioremediation is the use of biogenic Mn oxides to remove heavy metals from water systems. Native Pseudomonas bacteria species were isolated from EFPC in order to examine biogenic Mn oxides production and bioremediation of Oak Ridge slurries. Pseudomonas isolates did produce Mn oxides which bound to mercury, and mercury bound to organic matter significantly decreased. However, after a significant decrease of dissolved mercury, dissolved mercury was cycled back into the water system on day 10. Given a longer experimental timeline, biogenic Mn oxides have the potential to decrease mercury cycling.