To determine their potential use in bioremediation programs, three native bacteria isolated from industrial polluted effluents in Monterrey, México were tested as metal biosorbents at high concentrations of phenol (1000 mg/l). Bacterial isolates were identified as: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The isolates were found to exhibit combined heavy metal and phenol resistance characteristics. Bacterial growth was unaffected at concentrations over 1,000 mg/l of phenol and simultaneously tolerated individual concentrations of 300 mg/l of Cr6+, Ni2+, Pb2+, Hg2+, Zn2+ and Cd2+. Metal removal rate for E. cloacae ranged from 23 to 78%, for P. aeruginosa was 23 to 64% and 24 to 64% for K. pneumoniae. These characteristics considered together with their ability to grow in waters of marginal quality, point to a unique advantage of these species for wastewater bioremediation applications.
Key words: Bioremediation, wastewater, remediation, heavy metals, water pollution.
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