Extracellular Palladium Nanoparticle Production using Geobacter sulfurreducens

Matthew D. Yates, Roland D. Cusick, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Sustainable methods are needed to recycle precious metals and synthesize catalytic nanoparticles. Palladium nanoparticles can be produced via microbial reduction of soluble Pd(II) to Pd(0), but in previous tests using dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria (DMRB), the nanoparticles were closely associated with the cells, occupying potential reductive sites and eliminating the potential for cell reuse. The DMRB Geobacter sulfurreducens was shown here to reduce soluble Pd(II) to Pd(0) nanoparticles primarily outside the cell, reducing the toxicity of metal ions, and allowing nanoparticle recovery without cell destruction that has previously been observed using other microorganisms. Cultures reduced 50 ± 3 mg/L Pd(II) with 1% hydrogen gas (v/v headspace) in 6 h incubation tests [100 mg/L Pd(II) initially], compared to 8 ± 3 mg/L (10 mM acetate) without H2. Acetate was ineffective as an electron donor for palladium removal in the presence or absence of fumarate as an electron acceptor. TEM imaging verified that Pd(0) nanoparticles were predominantly in the EPS surrounding cells in H2-fed cultures, with only a small number of particles visible inside the cell. Separation of the cells and EPS by centrifugation allowed reuse of the cell suspensions and effective nanoparticle recovery. These results demonstrate effective palladium recovery and nanoparticle production using G. sulfurreducens cell suspensions and renewable substrates such as H2 gas. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1171
Number of pages7
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 13 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-I1-003-13
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank John Cantolina in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences for his assistance with TEM imaging. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and by Award DGE-1255832 to M.D.Y. by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Student Fellowship Program.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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