Microbial cell

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All cells are basically alike and contain the same macromolecules. The building-blocks, composition and production are similar. It is thought that a single, common universal ancestor of all life was a prokaryotic cell. Prokaryotes lack a nuclear membrane and most of the components of eucaryotic cells.


Constituents depend on whether the cell is a prokaryote or a eukaryote.

Why are microbial cells used in technology development for metal and metalloid sequestering from water streams?

  1. Because of their dependence on water, bacteria are particularly abundant and diverse in aquatic environments, in which they can exist in their planktonic (free living) or attached form (biofilms).
  2. The microbial cell offers a large number of possible physico-chemical mechanisms of interaction with soluble metal and metalloid species. The result is the immobilization of metals / metalloids and thus their sequestering from water streams.
  3. Both living-metabolizing and non-metabolizing microbial cells may interact with soluble species and immobilize them through the various mechanisms just mentioned and presented in the sections that follow.
  4. Microbial cells may develop into communities which form microbial films referred to as biofilms. Fixed film processes, based on the development of biofilms on solid supports, present two main key advantages which both strongly influence the efficiency of technologies based on biofilms:
    1. High density of microorganisms per unit volume and
    2. Large specific area available for interaction with soluble targeted species.
  5. The use of microbial biomass in technology applications has the advantage of aving energy and materials - eco-efficiency.

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