Bacteria, which are ubiquitous in near-surface geologic systems, can affect the distribution and fate of metals in these systems through adsorption reactions between the metals and bacterial cell walls. Recently, Fein et al. (1997) developed a chemical equilibrium approach to quantify metal adsorption onto cell walls, treating the sorption as a surface complexation phenomenon. However, such models are based on circumstantial bulk adsorption evidence only, and the nature and mechanism of metal binding to cell walls for each metal system have not been determined spectroscopically. The results of XAFS measurements at the Cd K-edge and U L3-edge on Bacillus subtilis exposed to these elements show that, at low pH, U binds to phosphoryl groups while Cd binds to carboxyl functional groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Environmental science