Hyderabad: In the latest research published in the international ‘Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering’ by Indian scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU), it has been discovered that certain bacteria can eat away toxic metals from water. The bacterium has been named ‘Microbacterium paraoxydans strain VSVM IIT (BHU)’, and it makes the water safe to drink for humans.
The scientists – Dr Vishal Mishra and PhD student Veer Singh – found that these bacteria can even remove toxicity from highly contaminated industrial water. Wondering how? It simply separates toxic heavy metal hexavalent chromium [Cr (VI)] from wastewater. The bacterial isolate could tolerate up to 200 mg/L of Cr (VI) and showed a maximum removal efficiency of 99.96% when grown in a medium containing 50 mg/L Cr (VI).
If hexavalent chromium is consumed, it causes health problems among humans, including different kinds of cancers, infertility, liver ailments, and kidney issues. Microbacterium paraoxydans strain is able to tolerate high concentrations of hexavalent chromium, which, the researchers believe, is highly effective for removing the toxic material from wastewater when compared to conventional methods. This method of removing hexavalent chromium is also very cost-efficient.
To learn more about the bacteria and its effects, check out the link: