Removal of Uranium(VI) from Solution by Fungal Biomass and Fungal Wall-Related Biopolymers

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  21 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4582, pp. 285-286
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4582.285


Penicillium digitatum mycelium can accumulate uranium from aqueous solutions of uranyl chloride. Azide present during the uptake tests does not inhibit the process. Killing the fungal biomass in boiling water or by treatment with alcohols, dimethyl sulfoxide, or potassium hydroxide increases the uptake capability to about 10,000 parts per million (dry weight). Formaldehyde killing does not enhance the uranium uptake. The inference that wall-binding sites were involved led to the testing of uranium uptake by chitin, cellulose, and cellulose derivatives in microcolumns. All were active, especially chitin.