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Contaminated & clean samples, bacterial decontamin

Contaminated & clean samples, bacterial decontamin

E840/0145

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Decontamination of toxic waste using bacteria. A technician loading a sample of toxic waste into a biomagnetic separator for treatment. The waste used contains uranyl ions, like those found in effluents from nuclear facilities. In the sepataror the waste is mixed with glycerol 3- phosphate, and bacteria added (Candida utilis or Bacillus subtilis). The bacteria exude an enzyme which liberates phosphate ions. These react with the uranyl ions to form a precipitate which deposits on the bacteria. Uranyl ions are highly magnetic, so the bacteria with their uranyl coat may be recovered by magnetic separation, thus decontaminating the waste.

Release details

Model release not available. Property release not required.

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