By Arpit Kumar Pradhan, Rudrarup Bose

Biomedical waste (BMW) ash, generated from incineration of BMW, consists of several heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which can cause severe damage to the environment by seeping into the ground and by polluting the surface and groundwater.
Previously reported bioremediation technique combined with synthetic biology can lead to a novel methodology to reduce the toxicity of the BMW ash before disposing into the environment. Several bacterial species such as Bacillus sp. KGMDI have been shown to tolerate upto 75mg/l of heavy metal such as manganese, molybdenum, iron, chromium, copper. Reduction of toxicity, by treatment with bacteria, has also been reported earlier, indicating uptake of toxic heavy metals. Here, we propose to engineer the bacterium’s metabolic pathway to utilise such heavy metals in a constructive manner. The chemistry space based on the diversity of PAHs seems fascinating and allow scope for the synthesis of compounds of social interest. These bacterial species can further be configured for differential higher uptake of heavy metals, such as iron, from the BMW ash by modifying their biochemical pathways and can be utilised to synthesize nanoparticles. Hence, it is possible to synthesize iron nanoparticles which have clinical and laboratory applications, thus incurring immense societal benefits.


Nice idea to tackle an alarming health hazard.

Dr Mohit Kumar Patralekh · 28 Mar, 2017

Nice idea to tackle an alarming health hazard.

Dr Mohit Kumar Patralekh · 28 Mar, 2017

Are you sure that the ash from medical / clinical waste incineration is very high in heavy metals. Heavy metals are normally absent from drugs and their concentration in human beings is normally thankfully low. The other problem is that if the bacteria absorb the heavy metals from the ash they may well be making the heavy metals more mobile. I think it might be better to condition the ash to reduce the leaching of heavy metals from it.

Mark Foreman · 27 Jul, 2017
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Arpit Kumar Pradhan, Rudrarup Bose



Published: 9 Mar, 2017

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