Engineering and kinetic aspects of bacterial uranium reduction for the remediation of uranium contaminated environments

Aino-Maija Lakaniemi, Grant B. Douglas, Anna H. Kaksonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Biological reduction of soluble uranium from U(VI) to insoluble U(IV) coupled to the oxidation of an electron donor (hydrogen or organic compounds) is a potentially cost-efficient way to reduce the U concentrations in contaminated waters to below regulatory limits. A variety of microorganisms originating from both U contaminated and non-contaminated environments have demonstrated U(VI) reduction capacity under anaerobic conditions. Bioreduction of U(VI) is considered especially promising for in situ remediation, where the activity of indigenous microorganisms is stimulated by supplying a suitable electron donor to the subsurface to contain U contamination to a specific location in a sparingly soluble form. Less studied microbial biofilm-based bioreactors and bioelectrochemical systems have also shown potential for efficient U(VI) reduction to remove U from contaminated water streams. This review compares the advantages and challenges of U(VI)-reducing in situ remediation processes, bioreactors and bioelectrochemical systems. In addition, the current knowledge of U(VI) bioreduction mechanisms and factors affecting U(VI) reduction kinetics (e.g. pH, temperature, and the chemical composition of the contaminated water) are discussed, as both of these aspects are important in designing efficient remediation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198 - 212
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Uranium
  • remediation
  • Bioreactor
  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Biofilm
  • Reduction rate

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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