DEPHOSPHORIZATION OF AGBAJA IRON ORE USING INDIGENOUS ISOLATED BACTERIA

Author: Ibeanu Vivian Ifeoma
Department: Applied Microbiology
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Study on the potential of bacterial species to remove phosphorous (P) from Nigeria’s Agbaja iron ore was carried out with careful monitoring of the population as well as the pH of the system. 0.50/0.25mm fraction obtained from sieving of the crushed iron ore in Shital Test kits, were used in submerged culture technique of nutrient broth (NB) medium for 21 days. At 3 day interval, samples were removed and analyzed for the amount of phosphorous left in the sample and consequently removed. Findings revealed that Pseudomonas putida, Microccocus luteus, Listeria grayi, Proteus mirabilis, Bacillus subtilis and Enterobacter aerogenes which were originally isolated from the ore sample solubilized phosphorous with 82.3%, 68.4%, 62.3%, 54.4%, 72.1% and 64.2% respectively. The laboratory investigations found out that Pseudomonas putida and Bacillus subtilis have more capability to remove phosphorous from the Nigerian Agbaja iron ore, recording an impressive 82.3% and 72.1% respectively. Also, found out was the systematic reduction in the bacterial cells count which justified the pH trend observed during the process of cumulative phosphorous removal. The reduction in the microbial activities may be attributed to antimicrobial components of the ore, pyrite and other heavy metals. The study shows that phosphorous can reasonably be removed by the isolated bacteria but their capabilities were hampered by a rapid decline in microbial population after day 15 of experimentation. Further work is suggested with respect to possibilities of microbial metabolic wastes timely removal and disposal which may prolong the phosphorous removal capability of the microbes.

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