HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers probe how microbes speed up acid production at mining sites

Microbes are everywhere, but when they are in mined soils, they react with the mineral pyrite to speed up acidification of mine run-off water. Scientists have been trying to understand the chemistry behind this process that eventually leads to widespread acidification of water bodies and deposition of heavy metals. What a new study has found seems to defy the laws of chemistry: microbes react with the pyrite surface, coating it with chemicals that would be expected to hinder further reactions. Despite the formation of such coatings, however, microbe-mediated reactions occur tens of thousands of times faster than when no microbes are present.

''That's a puzzle,'' said Alfred Spormann, a co-principal investigator on the study. ''This changed surface chemistry should slow down the microbial oxidation but it doesn't.''

The collaborative study was led by co-principal investigators Scott Fendorf, Gordon Brown and Spormann at Stanford. Dartmouth Assistant Professor Benjamin Bostick, Fendorf's former doctoral student who coordinated the research effort, will present the group's findings Thursday, Dec. 11 at this year's San Francisco meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The AGU is an international scientific society with more than 35,000 members dedicated to advancing the understanding of Earth and its environment.

In mines, oxygen from the air initiates chemical reactions with pyrite, also known as fool's gold. Microbes subsequently react with the pyrite in cyclic processes that result in the rapid production of large amounts of sulfuric acid. The research team wanted to understand how the activity of the microorganisms controls the chemistry on mineral surfaces, and how that chemistry, in turn, controls the activity of the microorganisms. Specifically, they wanted to find out what kinds of iron species and precipitates can be found on microbe-treated pyrite surfaces.

The researchers grew the bacteria Thiobacillus ferrooxidans an
'"/>

Contact: Dawn Levy
dawnlevy@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
11-Dec-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
2. Researchers find color sensitive atomic switch in bacteria
3. Researchers identify protein promoting vascular tumor growth
4. Researchers devise potent new tools to curb ivory poaching
5. Researchers create nanotubes that change colors, form nanocarpet and kill bacteria
6. Researchers ID chlorophyll-regulating gene
7. Researchers develop fast track way to discover how cells are regulated
8. Researchers identify distinctive signature for metastatic prostate cancer
9. Researchers report new gene test for isolated cleft lip and palate
10. Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer
11. Researchers identify the genomes controlling elements

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... ... adjunct liquefaction: AMYLEX® 6T. The innovative enzyme enables numerous business gains for ... with locally-sourced raw materials, improve productivity, maximize yield, ensure consistent quality and ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... ... May 19, 2020 , ... ... software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of operations management solutions, today introduced BioMed to their ... a cloud-based platform for connecting the people and systems around biomedical engineering ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 12, 2020 , ... ... helps Life Science Manufacturers accurately and easily project contracted liabilities with payers, ... Gross-to-Net models by projecting discounts/rebates to Commercial and Government entities, Copay and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2020)... , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... racing to develop a vaccine or drug treatment. In an effort to better ... has publicly released the world’s largest imaging dataset portraying therapeutic compound effects from ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... DeCurtis Corporation, ... announced today that Derek Fournier has been appointed CEO and President. Founder and ... effective immediately. , “DeCurtis Corporation has been on an incredible journey for ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... , ... The Vitaspace project was founded by the famous Russian ... life and find a way (medicine or technology) that will help to preserve youth, ... scientists from all over the world, doctors, and all people who care. , The ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... 09, 2020 , ... Reducing carbon emissions has been and will continue to ... stock market dips, ways to reduce CO2 is something we can’t avoid. , ... the biofuels being produced today are created from recycled cooking oil or crops. Unfortunately, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: