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The establishment of EVISA is funded by the EU through the Fifth Framework Programme (G7RT- CT- 2002- 05112).

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Bacteria supposed to remove poisonous arsenic from drinking water


More than 10 Million People worlwide consume water having an arsenic contamination higher than the maximum tolerable value for human consumption. Intake of the highly toxic arsenic over long period of time leds to skin lesions and cancer with fatal cases. 

The team around Andreas Kappler works on a innovative technology, using the activity of bactery to clean the water from arsenic. The bacteria are involved in the formation of particular iron minerals that act as sorbents for arsenic. Clear target is to establish a robust method for providing clean water for the suffering people in arsenic contaminated areas in China and Bangladesh. Using both laboratory experiments in Tübingen and field studies in these areas the team will study in close cooperation with local scientists the efficiency of this approach.

The National Geographic Society is funding the project under the framework of the "Global Exploration Fund" meant to support research for the exploration of new water sources and the intelligent use of the limited resources.

Related information

personal web site of Andreas Kappler

Related studies

M.-C. Dictor, F. Battaglia-Brunet, F. Garrido, P. Baranger, Arsenic oxidation capabilities of a chemoautotrophic bacterial population: Use for the treatment of an arsenic contaminated wastewater, J. Phys. IV, 107 (2003) 377-380. DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030320

A. Kappler, D.K. Newman, Formation of iron(III)-minerals by iron(II)-oxidizing photoautotrophic bacteria, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 68 (2004) 1217-1226. DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2003.09.006

Habibul Ahsan, Yu Chen, Faruque Parvez, Lydia Zablotska, Maria Argos, Iftikhar Hussain, Hassina Momotaj, Diane Levy, Zhongqi Cheng, Vesna Slavkovich, Alexander van Geen, Geoffrey R. Howe, and Joseph H. Graziano, Arsenic Exposure from Drinking Water and Risk of Premalignant Skin Lesions in Bangladesh: Baseline Results from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study, Am. J. Epidemiol. 163 (2006) 1138-1148. DOI:10.1093/aje/kwj154

Mitchell Herbel, Scott Fendorf, Biogeochemical processes controlling the speciation and transport of arsenic within iron coated sands, Chem. Geol., 228/1-3 (2006) 16-32.

J.M. Park, J.S. Lee, J.-U. Lee, H.T. Chon, M.C. Jung, Microbial effects on geochemical behavior of arsenic in As-contaminated sediments, J. Geochem. Explor., 88/1-3 (2006) 134-138. DOI:10.1016/j.gexplo.2005.08.026

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last time modified:  June 21, 2020

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