Development of a Bioremediation Technology for the Removal of Thiocyanate from Aqueous Industrial Wastes Using Metabolically Active Microorganisms
Applied Bioremediation - Active and Passive Approaches (Editors Yogesh B Patil and Prakash Rao), Intech Open Science Publisher, 2013
20 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 7, 2014
Contamination of water and soil environment due to the release of toxic and hazardous chemicals as a result of industrialization has taken its toll by causing environmental pollution. If not treated and managed appropriately, toxic and hazardous pollutants may cause severe detrimental (negative), reversible or irreversible, intangible and incapacitating impacts on all forms of living cells. Thiocyanate (N≡C─S-) is one such known hazardous chemical and an important member of cyanide (CN-) family. It is a simple inorganic and one carbon (C-1) compound. Despite its toxicity, it is introduced into the environment by natural (principally by biological cyanide detoxification processes) as well as industrial processes (Kelly and Baker, 1990; Wood, 1975). Thiocyanate (SCN-) has some novel properties. It is linear in nature, electronegative polyatomic ion and a good example of pseudohalide; and therefore produced on a grand scale for its use in diverse industrial processes such as dyeing, acrylic fibre production, thiourea production, photo-finishing, herbicide and insecticide production, metal extraction and electroplating industries (Hughes, 1975). SCN- is also known for its applications in soil sterilization and corrosion inhibition (Beekhuis, 1975). Consequently, these industries emanate large volumes of SCN- bearing wastewaters. Apart from SCN-, these effluents might contain other contaminants like heavy metals, cyanide (CN-), metal-cyanides (MxCN) and metal-thiocyanates (MxSCN). Cyanide has the potential to reacts readily with sulphur to produce SCN- and any industry with cyanide in its waste is a potential source of SCN- contamination. Steel manufacturing, metal mining and electroplating units are some examples of such industries.
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