Bioremediation of Cr(VI) Polluted Wastewaters by Sorption on Heat Inactivated Saccharomyces cerevisiae Biomass

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Romania, Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, 73 D. Mangeron Street, 700050 Iasi, Romania

2 INCDTP Division – Leather and Footwear Research Institute, Bucharest, Romania

3 Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, 11 Carol I Blvd., 700506 Iasi, Romania

4 University of Minho, Department of Biological Engineering, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057, Braga, Portugal


The potential of heat inactivated Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the bioremoval and reduction of
Cr (VI) ions from wastewaters was evaluated in terms of metal uptake in time and at equilibrium, and
biosorption efficiency, by varying pH, biosorbent doses, contact time and temperature, in batch mode. During the sorption process, the heat inactivated biomass of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is capable of reducing Cr(VI) to Cr(III). Different kinetic models based on adsorption and reduction are used to represent the kinetic data of Cr(VI) bioremoval by S. cerevisiae, in explaining the biosorption mechanism of heavy metals and potential rate-controlling steps, in the perspective of full-scale process design. The results indicated some potential differences in the Cr(VI) removal mechanism at different experimental conditions. FTIR and SEM analysis were performed as well as to elucidate the mechanism of metal bioremoval by S. cerevisiae. FTIR spectra indicate that heavy metal bioremoval process doesn’t imply in this case the formation of stable covalent bonds, but it is predominantly based on chemical interactions, ion-exchange type. The SEM micrographs of Cr-loaded yeast, indicates that the surface morphology doesn’t change much after chromium ions were uptaken. This leads to the conclusion that Cr(VI) reduction occurs at the interface of the adsorbent.