As one of the transition metals, vanadium (V) (V(V)) in trace amounts represents an essential element for normal cell growth, but becomes toxic when its concentration is above 1mg/L. V(V) can alter cellular differentiation, gene expression, and other biochemical and metabolic phenomena. A feasible method to detoxify V(V) is to reduce it to V(IV), which precipitates and can be readily removed from the water. The bioreduction of V(V) in a contaminated groundwater was investigated using autohydrogentrophic bacteria and hydrogen gas as the electron donor. Compared with the previous organic donors, H2 shows the advantages as an ideal electron donor, including nontoxicity and less production of excess biomass. V(V) was 95.5% removed by biochemical reduction when autohydrogentrophic bacteria and hydrogen were both present, and the reduced V(IV) precipitated, leading to total-V removal. Reduction kinetics could be described by a first-order model and were sensitive to pH and temperature, with the optimum ranges of pH7.5-8.0 and 35-40°C, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis by clone library showed that the dominant species in the experiments with V(V) bioreduction belonged to the β-Proteobacteria. Previously known V(V)-reducing species were absent, suggesting that V(V) reduction was carried out by novel species. Their selective enrichment during V(V) bioreduction suggests that Rhodocyclus, a denitrifying bacterium, and Clostridium, a fermenter known to carry out metal reduction, were responsible for V(V) bioreduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences (China)
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Bioreduction
  • Clostridium
  • Hydrogen
  • Rhodocyclus
  • Vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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