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Environmental Technology & Innovation
Vol. 12, 2020, 101254

Microbial interactions with uranium: Towards an effective bioremediation approach

Uday KumarBanalaa,b, Nilamadhab Prasad Indradyumna Dasa, Subba RaoToletib,c

Radiological and Environmental Safety Division, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603102, India.


In uranium bioremediation, the response of different biological groups towards uranium are critical. Understanding the metal–microbe interactions would provide adequate knowledge to develop the remediation technique. Owing to this application, many studies have been reported on various strategies using different microbial agents. These microorganisms can adsorb, accumulate, reduce, or mineralize uranium as a survival mechanism. This review is intended to discuss the plausible uranium–microbial interactions that could sequester and limit the uranium contamination in the environment. A detailed description of the key processes such as biosorption, biomineralization, bioreduction and bioaccumulation of uranium by various biological groups are provided in this review. Concise information about the uranium speciation and other environmental factors which can substantially influence the in situ bioremediation are also discussed. Finally, a comparative assessment of chemical methods versus biological procedures in the remediation of uranium was explained. This review brings out the importance of the various biological agents and factors associated with the bioremediation of uranium contaminated sites.

Keywords: Uranium; Biosorption; Bioprecipitation; Bioreduction; Bioaccumulation; Chemical methodsm.

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