Table of Contents
Advances in Ecology
Volume 2014, Article ID 786929, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/786929
Review Article

Phosphate-Mediated Remediation of Metals and Radionuclides

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, 300 Hackberry Lane, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA

Received 24 March 2014; Accepted 10 July 2014; Published 11 September 2014

Academic Editor: Alistair Bishop

Copyright © 2014 Robert J. Martinez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Worldwide industrialization activities create vast amounts of organic and inorganic waste streams that frequently result in significant soil and groundwater contamination. Metals and radionuclides are of particular concern due to their mobility and long-term persistence in aquatic and terrestrial environments. As the global population increases, the demand for safe, contaminant-free soil and groundwater will increase as will the need for effective and inexpensive remediation strategies. Remediation strategies that include physical and chemical methods (i.e., abiotic) or biological activities have been shown to impede the migration of radionuclide and metal contaminants within soil and groundwater. However, abiotic remediation methods are often too costly owing to the quantities and volumes of soils and/or groundwater requiring treatment. The in situ sequestration of metals and radionuclides mediated by biological activities associated with microbial phosphorus metabolism is a promising and less costly addition to our existing remediation methods. This review highlights the current strategies for abiotic and microbial phosphate-mediated techniques for uranium and metal remediation.