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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
  Year: 2010 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 93-100
DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2010.93.100
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Aerobic Bio-Precipitation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Dredged Materials from the Niger Delta

Elijah and I. Ohimain

The abandonment of unconfined dredged materials in the Niger Delta following oil exploration is becoming a cause for concern because of the release of heavy metals during the natural weathering of sediments containing pyrites. During a laboratory scale bioremediation studies, Acidithiobacillus sp. was isolated from the spoil using 9 k media (10%) and used as inoculum in a controlled experiment for the leaching of two different abandoned dredged spoils (spoil 1 and 2) obtained from the mangrove forest of the Niger Delta. Results showed that the bacterium is able to catalyse the leaching of metals from the spoils into solution, with the following leaching efficiencies; Cu (92%), Cd (100%), Cr (50%), Ni (82%), Mn (80%) and Zn (92%) for spoil 1. Spoil 2 had similar leaching efficiencies. The mechanism of leaching involves the microbial oxidation of the pyrite in the dredged spoils resulting in pH decrease, which released the metals into solution due to changes in the redox chemistry of the leaching liquor. The study therefore have the potential of being applied in a large scale for the removal of heavy metals from dredged materials prior to their abandonment to prevent heavy metal pollution through natural weathering processes.
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How to cite this article:

Elijah and I. Ohimain, 2010. Aerobic Bio-Precipitation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Dredged Materials from the Niger Delta. Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4: 93-100.

DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2010.93.100






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