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

Abstract

The use of biomass for adsorption of rare earth elements (REEs) 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. Herein, we engineered E. coli cells for enhanced cell surface-mediated extraction of REEs by functionalizing the OmpA protein with 16 copies of a lanthanide binding tag (LBT). Through biosorption experiments conducted with leachates from metal-mine tailings and rare earth deposits, we show that functionalization of the cell surface with LBT yielded several notable advantages over the nonengineered control. First, the efficiency of REE adsorption from all leachates was enhanced as indicated by a 2-10-fold increase in distribution coefficients for individual REEs. Second, the relative affinity of the cell surface for REEs was increased 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 radius, providing a means to separate high value heavy REEs from more common light REEs. Together, our results demonstrate that REE biosorption of high efficiency and selectivity from low-grade feedstocks can be achieved by engineering the native bacterial surface.

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:https://doi.org/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:https://doi.org/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 adsorption of rare earth elements (REEs) 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. Herein, we engineered E. coli cells for enhanced cell surface-mediated extraction of REEs by functionalizing the OmpA protein with 16 copies of a lanthanide binding tag (LBT). Through biosorption experiments conducted with leachates from metal-mine tailings and rare earth deposits, we show that functionalization of the cell surface with LBT yielded several notable advantages over the nonengineered control. First, the efficiency of REE adsorption from all leachates was enhanced as indicated by a 2-10-fold increase in distribution coefficients for individual REEs. Second, the relative affinity of the cell surface for REEs was increased 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 radius, providing a means to separate high value heavy REEs from more common light REEs. Together, our results demonstrate that REE biosorption of high efficiency and selectivity from low-grade feedstocks 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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