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Title: Bioadsorption of rare earth elements through cell surface display of lanthanide binding tags

In this study, with the increasing demand for rare earth elements (REEs) in many emerging clean energy technologies, there is an urgent need for the development of new approaches for efficient REE extraction and recovery. As a step toward this goal, we genetically engineered the aerobic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus for REE adsorption through high-density cell surface display of lanthanide binding tags (LBTs) on its S-layer. The LBT-displayed strains exhibited enhanced adsorption of REEs compared to cells lacking LBT, high specificity for REEs, and an adsorption preference for REEs with small atomic radii. Adsorbed Tb 3+ could be effectively recovered using citrate, consistent with thermodynamic speciation calculations that predicted strong complexation of Tb 3+ by citrate. No reduction in Tb 3+ adsorption capacity was observed following citrate elution, enabling consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles. The LBT-displayed strain was effective for extracting REEs from the acid leachate of core samples collected at a prospective rare earth mine. Our collective results demonstrate a rapid, efficient, and reversible process for REE adsorption with potential industrial application for REE enrichment and separation.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  3. OLI Systems, Inc., Cedar Knolls, NJ (United States)
  4. The State Univ. of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  5. Univ. of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-15-37412; LLNL-JRNL-679871
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; AC07-05ID14517
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; rare earth elements; bioadsorption; Caulobacter crescentus; lanthanide binding tags; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1327934