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Microorganisms play a key role in the natural circulation of various constituent elements of metal sulfides. Some microorganisms (such as Thiobacillus ferrooxidans) can promote the oxidation of metal sulfides to increase the release of heavy metals. However, other microorganisms (such as Desulfovibrio vulgaris) can transform heavy metals into metal sulfides crystals. Therefore, insight into the metal sulfides transformation mediated by microorganisms is of great significance to environmental protection. In this review, first, we discuss the mechanism and influencing factors of microorganisms transforming heavy metals into metal sulfides crystals in different environments. Then, we explore three microbe-mediated transformation forms of heavy metals to metal sulfides and their environmental applications: (1) transformation to metal sulfides precipitation for metal resource recovery; (2) transformation to metal sulfides nanoparticles (NPs) for pollutant treatment; (3) transformation to "metal sulfides-microbe" biohybrid system for clean energy production and pollutant remediation. Finally, we further provide critical views on the application of microbe-mediated metal sulfides transformation in the environmental field and discuss the need for future research. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Zhu Su, Xin Li, Yanni Xi, Tanghuan Xie, Yanfen Liu, Bo Liu, Huinian Liu, Weihua Xu, Chang Zhang. Microbe-mediated transformation of metal sulfides: Mechanisms and environmental significance. The Science of the total environment. 2022 Jun 15;825:153767

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PMID: 35157862

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