Research shows how microbial activities could have a role in the remediation of toxic chromium (Cr) in the environment. Previously the role of microbes in transforming Cr remediation products hasn’t been well studied. A new paper outlines how the stability of common Cr remediation products is affected by the presence of microbial exudates. These chemicals released by microorganisms can promote the release of Cr from remediation products. Determining the microbial pathways that affect Cr remediation products can help scientists understand the long-term stability of these chemicals in nature.

The paper, “Siderophore and Organic Acid Promoted Dissolution and Transformation of Cr(III)-Fe(III)-(oxy)hydroxides,” was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The work was supported by NASA Astrobiology through the Exobiology & Evolutionary Biology Program.