Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 17;13(1):891. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-27796-w.
Heavy metals, including lead, cause serious damage to human health and the surrounding environment. Natural biosorbents arise as environmentally friendly alternatives. In this study, two of the 41 isolates (8EF and 17OS) were the most efficient bacteria for growing on media supplemented with Pb2+ (1000 mg/L). At high concentrations up to 2000 mg/L, the pioneer isolate 17OS exhibited remarkable resistance to multiheavy metals. This isolate was identified as Paenibacillus dendritiformis 17OS and deposited in GenBank under accession number ON705726.1. Design-Expert was used to optimize Pb2+ metal removal by the tested bacteria. Results indicated that four of six variables were selected using a minimum-run resolution IV experimental design, with a significant affecting Pb2+ removal. Temperature and Pb2+ concentration were significant positive influences, whereas incubation period and agitation speed were significant negative ones. The tested strain modulated the four significant variables for maximum Pb2+ removal using Box-Behnken design. The sequential optimization method was beneficial in increasing biosorption by 4.29%. Dead biomass of P. dendritiformis 17OS was embedded with polyethersulfone to get a hydrophilic adsorptive membrane that can separate Pb2+ easily from aqueous solutions. SEM images and FT-IR analysis proved that the new biosorbent possesses a great structure and a lot of surface functional groups with a negative surface charge of – 9.1 mV. The removal rate of 200 mg/L Pb2+ from water reached 98% using 1.5 g/L of the immobilized biosorbent. The adsorption isotherm studies were displayed to determine the nature of the reaction. The adsorption process was related to Freundlich isotherm which describes the multilayer and heterogeneous adsorption of molecules to the adsorbent surface. In conclusion, dead bacterial cells were immobilized on a polyether sulfone giving it the characteristics of a novel adsorptive membrane for the bioremediation of lead from wastewater. Thus this study proposed a new generation of adsorptive membranes based on polyethersulfone and dead bacterial cells.