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Title: Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria

Abstract

The use of biomass for sorption of rare earth elements (REEs) for bioremediation and biomining applications has been the subject of many recent investigations. However, REE adsorption by bioengineered systems has been scarcely documented, and rarely tested with complex natural feedstocks. In this study, we engineered E. coli cells for enhanced cell surface-mediated extraction of REEs. Using Lpp-OmpA as an anchor, up to 16 copies of a Lanthanide binding tag (LBT) per OmpA protein were displayed on the E. coli cell surface, resulting in a 2-fold increase in Tb adsorption capacity compared to control cells. To test the efficacy of engineered E. coli cells to extract REEs from complex source materials, biosorption was performed with leachates from two mine tailings and two rare earth deposits. Although control E. coli cells exhibited preferential adsorption of REEs over most metals, functionalization of the cell surface with LBT yielded several notable advantages. First, the efficiency of REE adsorption from all tested leachates was enhanced with distribution coefficients for individual REEs increased by 2-10 fold. Second, although, Cu, Al, Ga and Pb were found to be the best competitors for REE binding to the E. coli cell surface, LBT-display enhanced the cell surface affinitymore » for REEs over all non-REEs except Cu. Third, LBT-display systematically enhanced the affinity of the cell surface for REEs as a function of decreasing atomic radii, providing a means to separate high value HREEs such as Dy and Tb from more common LREEs such as La. Altogether, our results demonstrate that REE biosorption of high efficiency and selectivity can be achieved by engineering the native bacterial surface.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1396035
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1479348
Report Number(s):
[INL/JOU-17-41899]
[Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC07-05ID14517; AC02-05CH11231]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 22]; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Biosorption; Genetic engineering; Mineral extraction; rare earth elements

Citation Formats

Park, Dan M., Brewer, Aaron William, Reed, David W., Lammers, Laura Nielsen, and Jiao, Yongqin. Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b02414.
Park, Dan M., Brewer, Aaron William, Reed, David W., Lammers, Laura Nielsen, & Jiao, Yongqin. Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b02414.
Park, Dan M., Brewer, Aaron William, Reed, David W., Lammers, Laura Nielsen, and Jiao, Yongqin. Mon . "Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b02414. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1396035.
@article{osti_1396035,
title = {Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria},
author = {Park, Dan M. and Brewer, Aaron William and Reed, David W. and Lammers, Laura Nielsen and Jiao, Yongqin},
abstractNote = {The use of biomass for sorption of rare earth elements (REEs) for bioremediation and biomining applications has been the subject of many recent investigations. However, REE adsorption by bioengineered systems has been scarcely documented, and rarely tested with complex natural feedstocks. In this study, we engineered E. coli cells for enhanced cell surface-mediated extraction of REEs. Using Lpp-OmpA as an anchor, up to 16 copies of a Lanthanide binding tag (LBT) per OmpA protein were displayed on the E. coli cell surface, resulting in a 2-fold increase in Tb adsorption capacity compared to control cells. To test the efficacy of engineered E. coli cells to extract REEs from complex source materials, biosorption was performed with leachates from two mine tailings and two rare earth deposits. Although control E. coli cells exhibited preferential adsorption of REEs over most metals, functionalization of the cell surface with LBT yielded several notable advantages. First, the efficiency of REE adsorption from all tested leachates was enhanced with distribution coefficients for individual REEs increased by 2-10 fold. Second, although, Cu, Al, Ga and Pb were found to be the best competitors for REE binding to the E. coli cell surface, LBT-display enhanced the cell surface affinity for REEs over all non-REEs except Cu. Third, LBT-display systematically enhanced the affinity of the cell surface for REEs as a function of decreasing atomic radii, providing a means to separate high value HREEs such as Dy and Tb from more common LREEs such as La. Altogether, our results demonstrate that REE biosorption of high efficiency and selectivity can be achieved by engineering the native bacterial surface.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.est.7b02414},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = [22],
volume = [51],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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