Microbial Reduction of Structural Iron(III) in Smectites1
- Joseph W. Stucki,
- Peter Komadel and
- Henry T. Wilkinson2
Octahedral Fe(III) in the crystal structures of three different smectites was reduced to Fe(II) by actively growing microorganisms indigenous to the clay. The smectites were SWa-1 ferruginous smectite from Grant County, Washington; API 33a, Garfield Nontronite; and API 25, Upton montmorillonite. Bacterial growth was supported by incubating clay suspensions at room temperature in a nutrient broth solution consisting of peptone and beef extract. Some samples were first sterilized (by autoclaving), then seeded with bacteria that had been isolated previously from the SWa-1 sample. The effect of O2 on microbial reduction of Fe(III) was also tested. Results revealed that, in all three clays, about 0.30 mmol Fe(III)/g clay was reduced to Fe(II) by bacteria in a 28-day period. The specific organism responsible for Fe reduction has yet to be classified, but it was more efficient in samples that had not been purged of O2, and it appears to be indigenous to the SWa-1 clay.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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