U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Environ. Sci. Technol. 2001, 35, 703-712


The reductive biotransformation of a Ni2+-substituted (5 mol %) hydrous ferric oxide (NiHFO) by Shewanella putrefaciens, strain CN32, was investigated under anoxic conditions at circumneutral pH. Our objectives were to define the influence of Ni2+ substitution on the bioreducibility of the HFO and the biomineralization products formed and to identify biogeochemical factors controlling the phase distribution of Ni2+ during bioreduction. Incubations with CN32 and NiHFO were sampled after 14 and 32 d, and both aqueous chemistry and solid phases were characterized. By comparison of these results with a previous study (Fredrickson, J. K.; Zachara, J. M.; Kennedy, D. W.; Dong, H.; Onstott, T. C.; Hinman, N. W.; Li, S. W. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 1998, 62, 3239-3257), it was concluded that coprecipitated/sorbed Ni2+ inhibited the bioreduction of HFO through an undefined chemical mechanism.Mössbauer spectroscopy allowed analysis of the residual HFO phase and the identity and approximate mass percent of biogenic mineral phases. The presence of AQDS, a soluble electron shuttle that obviates need for cell-oxide contact, was found to counteract the inhibiting effect of Ni2+. Nickel was generally mobilized during bioreduction in a trend that correlated with final pH, except in cases where PO43- was present and vivianite precipitation occurred. CN32 promoted the formation of Ni2+-substituted magnetite (Fe2IIIFeII(1-x) NiIIxO4) in media with AQDS but without PO43-. The formation of this biogenic coprecipitate, however, had little discernible impact on final aqueous Ni2+ concentrations. These results demonstrate that coprecipitated Ni can inhibit dissimilatory microbial reduction of amorphous iron oxide, but the presence of humic acids may facilitate the immobilization of Ni within the crystal structure of biogenic magnetite.