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Development of a cost-effective bioremediation technology for arsenic-contaminated water


Arsenic contamination from both anthropogenic and natural sources has become a global environmental concern. Millions of people in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Vietnam are suffering from arsenic poisoning due to the chronic exposure of arsenic via drinking water and food. Therefore, remediation of arsenic contaminated water is now priority research. Chemical oxidants used in conventional treatmentment methods are costly and can produce harmful by-products. Bioremediation has gained significant attention in recent years as an alternative to conventional technologies.

This project focused on developing a microbial-assisted low cost remediation technology for arsenic-contaminated water.

A novel and highly potential arsenic(III)-oxidising bacteria and microalage were isolated from soil which could replace the currently used chemicals in a cost-effective manner. The genetic mechanism of arsenic(III) oxidation was explored in the isolated bacteria by identifying the gene involved in the process. Finally a column-based bioremediation technology was developed which can continuously oxidise arsenic(III) followed by arsenic(V) adsorption onto a low-cost adsorbent.


Mezbaul completed his B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Khulna University in 2002 and continued with his Master’s degree in Natural Environmental Studies at the University of Tokyo which he completed in 2007.

Before joining the doctoral program, Mezbaul worked as a faculty member in Khulna University. While there he taught several undergraduate courses and was involved in research projects. 

Mezbaul’s scholarly efforts are devoted to the research in environmental problems and their effective solutions with the objective to make our living world a safer and more sustainable place. He has authored/co-authored 18 refereed journals papers including 8 in ISI-indexed journals. In addition to this he has published a book chapter and 14 conference abstracts.


Bahar, MM, Megharaj, M & Naidu, R 2013, ‘Kinetics of arsenite oxidation by Variovorax sp. MM-1 isolated from a soil and identification of arsenite oxidase gene,’ Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 262, pp. 997–1003.

Bahar, MM, Megharaj, M & Naidu, R 2012, ‘Arsenic bioremediation potential of a new arsenite-oxidizing bacterium Stenotrophomonas sp. MM-7 isolated from soil,’ Biodegradation, vol. 23, iss. 6, pp. 803–812.

Bahar, MM, Megharaj, M & Naidu, R 2013, ‘Toxicity, transformation and accumulation of inorganic arsenic species in a microalga Scenedesmus sp. isolated from soil,’ Journal of Applied Phycology, vol. 25, iss. 3, pp. 913–917.