Indexed on: 21 Nov '07Published on: 21 Nov '07Published in: Canadian journal of microbiology
Cyanide or metal cyanide contaminations have become serious environmental and food-health problems. A fungal mutant of Trichoderma koningii, TkA8, constructed by restriction enzyme-mediated integration, has been verified to have a high cyanide degradation ability in our previous study. In this study, the mutant cells were entrapped in sodium-alginate (Na-alginate) immobilization beads to degrade cyanide and ferrocyanide in a liquid mineral medium. The results showed that the fungus in immobilization beads consisting of 3% Na-alginate and 3% CaCl2 could degrade cyanide more efficiently than a nonimmobilized fungal culture. For maximum degradation efficiency, the optimal ratio of Na-alginate and wet fungal biomass was 20:1 (m/m) and the initial pH was 6.5. In comparison, cell immobilization took at least 3 and 8 days earlier, respectively, to completely degrade cyanide and ferrocyanide. In addition, we showed that the immobilized beads could be easily recovered from the medium and reused for up to 5 batches without significant losses of fungal remediation abilities. The results of this study provide a promising alternative method for the large-scale remediation of soil or water systems from cyanide contamination.