Bioremediation of acid mine drainage and Biosurfactants from Pseudomonas teessidea

Elinor Morgan, Bella Adam, Alix Collingwood-Swinburn (Photographer), Pattanathu Rahman

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Biosurfactant from Pseudomonas teessidea : Surfactants work by reducing surface tension between two liquids or a liquid and a solid. Biosurfactants, surface-active agents of biological origin, have environment-friendly properties; they are bio-degradable, non-toxic and can be made organically using local raw material and producers. Biosurfactants can be used in soaps, detergents, medical ointments or as emulsifiers i.e. within ice cream, facial cream or sun lotion. Pseudomonas teessidea is a new bacterial species which was discovered by Dr. Rahman in the Northeast of England. This bacterium has DNA coding distinct from existing species and has unique properties developed in response to the contaminated soil from which it comes. It produces biosurfactants to detoxify oil and chemicals contaminants in the ground. Bioremediation of acid mine drainage: Water seepage from old ironstone mine workings into Skelton Beck is caused by rising ground-water levels from the old Longacre Pit in Skelton, which is choked with iron ochre. The iron deposits have coloured the beck red and threaten wildlife. One of the consequences of Acid Mine Drainage is the formation of iron oxide rich soil, or ‘ochre’. Government agencies worldwide often face challenges toward remediation of water contaminated by historical mining activities. The objective of the project was to develop a sustainable procedure to extract elemental iron from the hazardous ochre using bacteria to convert the ochre to iron using samples collected from Skelton Beck in Northeast England. Teesside University scientists testing the ability of two anaerobic bacteria to reduce the iron present in ochre. This process took eight days. These results could provide the basis for the production of elemental iron from ochre sediments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2016


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