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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, March 2015, Vol.81(6), pp.2189-98
    Description: Water discharging from abandoned coal mines can contain extremely high manganese levels. Removing this metal is an ongoing challenge. Passive Mn(II) removal beds (MRBs) contain microorganisms that oxidize soluble Mn(II) to insoluble Mn(III/IV) minerals, but system performance is unpredictable. Using amplicon pyrosequencing, we profiled the bacterial, fungal, algal, and archaeal communities in four MRBs, performing at different levels, in Pennsylvania to determine whether they differed among MRBs and from surrounding soil and to establish the relative abundance of known Mn(II) oxidizers. Archaea were not detected; PCRs with archaeal primers returned only nontarget bacterial sequences. Fungal taxonomic profiles differed starkly between sites that remove the majority of influent Mn and those that do not, with the former being dominated by Ascomycota (mostly Dothideomycetes) and the latter by Basidiomycota (almost entirely Agaricomycetes). Taxonomic profiles for the other groups did not differ significantly between MRBs, but operational taxonomic unit-based analyses showed significant clustering by MRB with all three groups (P 〈 0.05). Soil samples clustered separately from MRBs in all groups except fungi, whose soil samples clustered loosely with their respective MRB. Known Mn(II) oxidizers accounted for a minor proportion of bacterial sequences (up to 0.20%) but a greater proportion of fungal sequences (up to 14.78%). MRB communities are more diverse than previously thought, and more organisms may be capable of Mn(II) oxidation than are currently known.
    Keywords: Biota ; Environmental Microbiology ; Industrial Waste ; Bacteria -- Isolation & Purification ; Manganese -- Metabolism ; Microalgae -- Isolation & Purification
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2011, Vol.75(2), pp.337-351
    Description: We have compiled time-series concentration data for the biological reduction of manganese(III/IV) published between 1985 and 2004 and fit these data with a simple hyperbolic rate expression or, when appropriate, one of its limiting forms. The compiled data and rate constants are available in . The zero- and first-order rate constants appear to follow a log–normal distribution that could be used, for example, in predictive modeling of Mn-oxide reduction in a reactive transport scenario. We have also included details of the experimental procedures used to generate each time-series data-set in our compilation. These meta-data—mostly pertaining to the type and concentration of micro-organism, electron donor, and electron acceptor—enable us to examine the rate data for trends. We have computed a number of rudimentary, mono-variate statistics on the compiled data with the hope of stimulating both more detailed statistical analyses of the data and new experiments to fill gaps in the existing data-set. We have also analyzed the data with parametric models based on the log–normal distribution and rate equations that are hyperbolic in the concentration of cells and Mn available for reduction. This parametric analysis allows us to provide best estimates of zero- and first-order rate constants both ignoring and accounting for the meta-data.
    Keywords: Geology
    ISSN: 0016-7037
    E-ISSN: 1872-9533
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 15 February 2016, Vol.175, pp.128-149
    Description: This work examines the geochemical behavior of dissolved aluminum in sulfate-rich acidic waters. Our observations were obtained during several years of geochemical and mineralogical research in the San Telmo acidic pit lake and other pit lakes of SW Spain. The work includes scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) of suspended mineral colloids found in deep lake waters. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) coupled to scanning and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (STEM, HRTEM) revealed not only the presence and formation of discrete, sub-micron Al solids like alunite, but also the abundance and distribution of Al into Fe(III) phases typical of acid mine drainage, such as schwertmannite and jarosite, at a nanometric resolution. The main conclusion emerging from our work is that the fate and transport of Al at low pH (〈4.0) can be largely influenced by adsorption on and/or coprecipitation with both schwertmannite and jarosite. Under the geochemical conditions studied (SO = 10 M, Fe(III) ∼ Al = 10 M), alunite formation may occur at pH 〉 3.3, as suggested by mineralogical observations and geochemical modelling. Below this pH, and contrary to the extended assumption, Al is not truly conservative, and in the presence of ferric iron, both metals may co-precipitate at a substantial extent to form either particles of Al-rich schwertmannite (containing up to ca. 8 at.% Al with [Fe/(Fe + Al)] = 0.77) and/or crystals of H O - to K -jarosite (containing up to ca. 10 at.% Al with [Fe/(Fe + Al)] = 0.54). This Al incorporation seems to take place by adsorption on particle surfaces in schwertmannite and by atomic substitution for Fe in jarosite. Alunite is also unstable at this low pH range with respect to jarosite, which may lead either to isomorphic transformation and/or to chemically zoned crystals with jarositic rims around previously formed alunite cores. As a whole, the compositional spectrum of the analyzed jarosites and alunites describes a discontinuous, coupled (Al –Fe , H O –K ) solid solution series with an apparent gap at intermediate compositions. However, this gap seems to follow geochemical aspects more than crystallographic factors (i.e., immiscibility). The combination of this macroscopically Al incorporated into Fe(III) solids along with subordinate alunite formation may cause significant Al removal even at very low pH (e.g., 20% decrease in Al concentration in San Telmo at pH 〈 3.1). Furthermore, this Fe(III)–Al co-precipitation may also affect the fate of toxic trace elements like As and Pb.
    Keywords: Geology
    ISSN: 0016-7037
    E-ISSN: 1872-9533
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Chromatography A, 07 December 2018, Vol.1579, pp.99-105
    Description: Development of shale gas resources through the use of hydraulic fracturing has raised a multitude of environmental concerns and motivated research towards the understanding of shale gas systems. Previous research has demonstrated the potential of utilizing hydrocarbon distributions towards the fingerprinting of a potential environmental contamination event arising from shale gas operations. However, to apply hydrocarbon distributions from shale gas wells towards point-source identification and apportionment, a better understanding of hydrocarbon origins must be achieved. Here we present an efficient and repeatable thermal desorption method, as a sample introduction methodology for GC × GC analysis of shale rock samples that results in comparable chromatograms to those produced by solvent extraction. This novel and robust characterization technique of shale cores from Marcellus and Utica formations by thermal desorption followed by GC × GC enables the understanding of hydrocarbon speciation within the native rock with minimal sample preparation time and solvent use. The detailed shale chemistry gives insight into utilizing hydrocarbon differences towards point-source identification methodologies of environmental contamination events associated with unconventional gas development. Additionally, this analytical technique may provide a more detailed analysis of hydrocarbons than what is currently implemented in the industry to pinpoint the most advantageous areas to exploit by hydraulic fracturing, yet avoiding undesirable areas such as those with a high abundance of sulfur containing compounds.
    Keywords: Gc×Gc ; Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry ; Hydraulic Fracturing ; Thermal Desorption ; Shale ; Unconventional Oil and Gas Development ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0021-9673
    E-ISSN: 18733778
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, February 2015, Vol.81(4), pp.1242-50
    Description: A legacy of coal mining in the Appalachians has provided a unique opportunity to study the ecological niches of iron-oxidizing microorganisms. Mine-impacted, anoxic groundwater with high dissolved-metal concentrations emerges at springs and seeps associated with iron oxide mounds and deposits. These deposits are colonized by iron-oxidizing microorganisms that in some cases efficiently remove most of the dissolved iron at low pH, making subsequent treatment of the polluted stream water less expensive. We used full-cycle rRNA methods to describe the composition of sediment communities at two geochemically similar acidic discharges, Upper and Lower Red Eyes in Somerset County, PA, USA. The dominant microorganisms at both discharges were acidophilic Gallionella-like organisms, “Ferrovum” spp., and Acidithiobacillus spp. Archaea and Leptospirillum spp. accounted for less than 2% of cells. The distribution of microorganisms at the two sites could be best explained by a combination of iron(II) concentration and pH. Populations of the Gallionella-like organisms were restricted to locations with pH〉3 and iron(II) concentration of 〉4 mM, while Acidithiobacillus spp. were restricted to pH4 mM. Our findings offer a predictive framework that could prove useful for describing the distribution of microorganisms in acid mine drainage, based on readily accessible geochemical parameters.
    Keywords: Acids -- Metabolism ; Bacteria -- Isolation & Purification ; Coal -- Microbiology ; Geologic Sediments -- Microbiology ; Iron -- Metabolism ; Waste Water -- Microbiology
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, 01 April 2017, Vol.83(7)
    Description: Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major environmental problem affecting tens of thousands of kilometers of waterways worldwide. Passive bioremediation of AMD relies on microbial communities to oxidize and remove iron from the system; however, iron oxidation rates in AMD environments are highly variable among sites. At Scalp Level Run (Cambria County, PA), first-order iron oxidation rates are 10 times greater than at other coal-associated iron mounds in the Appalachians. We examined the bacterial community at Scalp Level Run to determine whether a unique community is responsible for the rapid iron oxidation rate. Despite strong geochemical gradients, including a 〉10-fold change in the concentration of ferrous iron from 57.3 mg/liter at the emergence to 2.5 mg/liter at the base of the coal tailings pile, the bacterial community composition was nearly constant with distance from the spring outflow. Scalp Level Run contains many of the same taxa present in other AMD sites, but the community is dominated by two strains of , a species that is associated with high rates of Fe(II) oxidation in laboratory studies. Acid mine drainage pollutes more than 19,300 km of rivers and streams and 72,000 ha of lakes worldwide. Remediation is frequently ineffective and costly, upwards of $100 billion globally and nearly $5 billion in Pennsylvania alone. Microbial Fe(II) oxidation is more efficient than abiotic Fe(II) oxidation at low pH (P. C. Singer and W. Stumm, Science 167:1121-1123, 1970, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.167.3921.1121). Therefore, AMD bioremediation could harness microbial Fe(II) oxidation to fuel more-cost-effective treatments. Advances will require a deeper understanding of the ecology of Fe(II)-oxidizing microbial communities and the factors that control their distribution and rates of Fe(II) oxidation. We investigated bacterial communities that inhabit an AMD site with rapid Fe(II) oxidation and found that they were dominated by two operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of , a taxon associated with high laboratory rates of iron oxidation. This research represents a step forward in identifying taxa that can be used to enhance cost-effective AMD bioremediation.
    Keywords: Ferrovum Myxofaciens ; Acid Mine Drainage ; Environmental Microbiology ; Extremophiles ; Iron Oxidation ; Coal Mining ; Bacteria -- Metabolism ; Betaproteobacteria -- Metabolism ; Ferric Compounds -- Chemistry ; Iron -- Metabolism ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, January 2011, Vol.77(2), pp.545-54
    Description: Lower Red Eyes is an acid mine drainage site in Pennsylvania where low-pH Fe(II) oxidation has created a large, terraced iron mound downstream of an anoxic, acidic, metal-rich spring. Aqueous chemistry, mineral precipitates, microbial communities, and laboratory-based Fe(II) oxidation rates for this site were analyzed in the context of a depositional facies model. Depositional facies were defined as pools, terraces, or microterracettes based on cm-scale sediment morphology, irrespective of the distance downstream from the spring. The sediments were composed entirely of Fe precipitates and cemented organic matter. The Fe precipitates were identified as schwertmannite at all locations, regardless of facies. Microbial composition was studied with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and transitioned from a microaerophilic, Euglena-dominated community at the spring, to a Betaproteobacteria (primarily Ferrovum spp.)-dominated community at the upstream end of the iron mound, to a Gammaproteobacteria (primarily Acidithiobacillus)-dominated community at the downstream end of the iron mound. Microbial community structure was more strongly correlated with pH and geochemical conditions than depositional facies. Intact pieces of terrace and pool sediments from upstream and downstream locations were used in flowthrough laboratory reactors to measure the rate and extent of low-pH Fe(II) oxidation. No change in Fe(II) concentration was observed with (60)Co-irradiated sediments or with no-sediment controls, indicating that abiotic Fe(II) oxidation was negligible. Upstream sediments attained lower effluent Fe(II) concentrations compared to downstream sediments, regardless of depositional facies.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Metagenome ; Geologic Sediments -- Microbiology
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, 15 June 2016, Vol.82(12), pp.3611-3621
    Description: Two acid mine drainage (AMD) sites in the Appalachian bituminous coal basin were selected to enrich for Fe(II)-oxidizing microbes and measure rates of low-pH Fe(II) oxidation in chemostatic bioreactors. Microbial communities were enriched for 74 to 128 days in fed-batch mode, then switched to flowthrough mode (additional 52 to 138 d) to measure rates of Fe(II) oxidation as a function of pH (2.1 to 4.2) and influent Fe(II) concentration (80 to 2,400 mg/liter). Biofilm samples were collected throughout these operations, and the microbial community structure was analyzed to evaluate impacts of geochemistry and incubation time. Alpha diversity decreased as the pH decreased and as the Fe(II) concentration increased, coincident with conditions that attained the highest rates of Fe(II) oxidation. The distribution of the seven most abundant bacterial genera could be explained by a combination of pH and Fe(II) concentration. Acidithiobacillus, Ferrovum, Gallionella, Leptospirillum, Ferrimicrobium, Acidiphilium, and Acidocella were all found to be restricted within specific bounds of pH and Fe(II) concentration. Temporal distance, defined as the cumulative number of pore volumes from the start of flowthrough mode, appeared to be as important as geochemical conditions in controlling microbial community structure. Both alpha and beta diversities of microbial communities were significantly correlated to temporal distance in the flowthrough experiments. Even after long-term operation under nearly identical geochemical conditions, microbial communities enriched from the different sites remained distinct. While these microbial communities were enriched from sites that displayed markedly different field rates of Fe(II) oxidation, rates of Fe(II) oxidation measured in laboratory bioreactors were essentially the same. These results suggest that the performance of suspended-growth bioreactors for AMD treatment may not be strongly dependent on the inoculum used for reactor startup. This study showed that different microbial communities enriched from two sites maintained distinct microbial community traits inherited from their respective seed materials. Long-term operation (up to 128 days of fed-batch enrichment followed by up to 138 days of flowthrough experiments) of these two systems did not lead to the same, or even more similar, microbial communities. However, these bioreactors did oxidize Fe(II) and remove total iron [Fe(T)] at very similar rates. These results suggest that the performance of suspended-growth bioreactors for AMD treatment may not be strongly dependent on the inoculum used for reactor startup. This would be advantageous, because system performance should be well constrained and predictable for many different sites.
    Keywords: Microbial Consortia ; Bacteria -- Classification ; Bioreactors -- Microbiology ; Iron -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2011, Vol.77(2), p.545(10)
    Description: Aqueous chemistry, mineral precipitates, microbial communities and laboratory-based Fe(II) oxidation rates for the acid main drainage site are studied in the context of a depositional facies model. The studies have shown that upstream sediments have achieved lower effluent Fe(II) concentrations when compared to downstream sediments, regardless of depositional facies.
    Keywords: Acid Mine Drainage – Environmental Aspects ; Geologic Facies – Environmental Aspects ; Iron (Metal) – Environmental Aspects ; Oxidation-Reduction Reactions – Analysis
    ISSN: 0099-2240
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Science&Technology, 06 November 2012, Vol.46(21)
    Description: Iron-bearing phyllosilicates strongly influence the redox state and mobility of uranium because of their limited hydraulic conductivity, high specific surface area, and redox reactivity. Standard extraction procedures cannot be accurately applied for the determination of clay-Fe(II/III) and U(IV/VI) in clay mineral-U suspensions such that advanced spectroscopic techniques are required. Instead, we developed and validated a sequential extraction method for determination of clay-Fe(II/III) and U(IV/VI) in clay-U suspensions. In our so-called "H(3)PO(4)-HF-H(2)SO(4) sequential extraction" method, H(3)PO(4)-H(2)SO(4) is used first to solubilize and remove U, and the remaining clay pellet is subject to HF-H(2)SO(4) digestion. Physical separation of U and clay eliminates valence cycling between U(IV/VI) and clay-Fe(II/III) that otherwise occurred in the extraction solutions and caused analytical discrepancies. We further developed an "automated anoxic KPA" method to measure soluble U(VI) and total U (calculate U(IV) by difference) and modified the conventional HF-H(2)SO(4) digestion method to eliminate a series of time-consuming weighing steps. We measured the kinetics of uraninite oxidation by nontronite using this sequential extraction method and anoxic KPA method and measured a stoichiometric ratio of 2.19 ± 0.05 mol clay-Fe(II) produced per mol U(VI) produced (theoretical value of 2.0). We found that we were able to recover 98.0-98.5% of the clay Fe and 98.1-98.5% of the U through the sequential extractions. Compared to the theoretical stoichiometric ratio of 2.0, the parallel extractions of 0.5 M HCl for clay-Fe(II) and 1 M NaHCO(3) for U(VI) leached two-times more Fe(II) than U(VI). The parallel extractions of HF-H(2)SO(4) for clay Fe(II) and 1 M NaHCO(3) for U(VI) leached six-times more Fe(II) than U(VI).
    Keywords: Engineering ; Environmental Sciences
    ISSN: 0013-936X
    E-ISSN: 1520-5851
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