Bacteria-immobilized electrospun fibrous polymeric webs for hexavalent chromium remediation in water
The development of hexavalent chromium remediating fibrous biocomposite mats through the immobilization of a hexavalent chromium reducing bacterial strain, Morganella morganiiSTB5, on the surfaces of electrospun polystyrene and polysulfone webs is described. The bacteria-immobilized biocomposite webs have shown removal yields of 93.60 and 93.79 % for 10 mg/L, 99.47 and 90.78 % for 15 mg/L and 70.41 and 68.27 % for 25 mg/L of initial hexavalent chromium within 72 h, respectively, and could be reused for at least five cycles. Storage test results indicate that the biocomposite mats can be stored without losing their bioremoval capacities. Scanning electron microscopy images of the biocomposite webs demonstrate that biofilms of M. morganii STB5 adhere strongly to the fibrous polymeric surfaces and are retained after repeated cycles of use. Overall, the results suggest that reusable bacteria-immobilized fibrous biocomposite webs might be applicable for continuous hexavalent chromium remediation in water systems.