Bioleaching of heavy metals from a contaminated soil using indigenous Penicillium chrysogenum strain F1.
ABSTRACT Bioleaching of heavy metals from contaminated soil using Penicillium chrysogenum strain F1 was investigated. Batch experiments were performed to compare leaching efficiencies of heavy metals between one-step and two-step processes and to determine the transformation of heavy metal fractions before and after bioleaching. The results showed that two-step process had higher leaching efficiencies of heavy metals than one-step process. When the mass ratio of soil to culture medium containing P. chrysogenum strain F1 was 5% (w/v), 50%, 35%, 9% and 40% of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were removed in one-step process, respectively. The two-step process had higher removals of 63% Cd, 56% Cu, 14% Pb and 54% Zn as compared with one-step process. The results of the sequential extraction showed that the metals remaining in the soil were mainly bonded in stable fractions after bioleaching. The results of TEM and SEM showed that during bioleaching process, although the mycelium of P. chrysogenum was broken into fragments, no damage was obviously observed on the surface of the living cell except for thinner cell wall, smaller vacuoles and concentrated cytoplasm. The result implied that P. chrysogenum strain F1 can be used to remove heavy metals from polluted soil.