Microbially-induced Carbonate Precipitation for Immobilization of Toxic Metals

Deepika Kumari, Xin-Yi Qian, Xiangliang Pan, Varenyam Achal, Qianwei Li, Geoffrey Michael Gadd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)
1466 Downloads (Pure)


Rapid urbanization and industrialization resulting from growing populations contribute to environmental pollution by toxic metals and radionuclides which pose a threat to the environment and to human health. To combat this threat, it is important to develop remediation technologies based on natural processes that are sustainable. In recent years, a biomineralization process involving ureolytic microorganisms that leads to calcium carbonate precipitation has been found to be effective in immobilizing toxic metal pollutants. The advantage of using ureolytic organisms for bioremediating metal pollution in soil is their ability to immobilize toxic metals efficiently by precipitation or coprecipitation, independent of metal valence state and toxicity and the redox potential. This review summarizes current understanding of the ability of ureolytic microorganisms for carbonate biomineralization and applications of this process for toxic metal bioremediation. Microbial metal carbonate precipitation may also be relevant to detoxification of contaminated process streams and effluents as well as the production of novel carbonate biominerals and biorecovery of metals and radionuclides that form insoluble carbonates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-108
Number of pages30
JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2016


  • Bacteria
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Poisoning
  • Soil
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Urease
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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