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  • 1 Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, PSG Institute of Advanced Studies, P.O. Box 1609, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, 641004 India
  • | 2 Waste Management Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, 400085 India
  • | 3 Department of Microbial Biotechnology, School of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, 641046 India
  • | 4 Environmental Management and Biotechnology Division, DRDO-BU Centre for Life Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, 641046 India
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Abstract  

The present study involves the screening of silver nanoparticles containing carbonized yeast cells isolated from coconut cell sap for efficient adsorption of few long lived radionuclides like 137Cs55, 60Co27, 106Ru44, 239Pu94 and 241Am95. Yeast cells containing silver nanoparticles produced through biological reduction were subjected to carbonization (400 °C for 1 h) at atmospheric conditions and their properties were analyzed using fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope attached with energy dispersive spectroscopy and transmission electron microscope. The average size of the silver nanoparticles present on the surface of the carbonized silver containing yeast cells (CSY) was 19 ± 9 nm. The carbonized control yeast cells without silver exposure (CCY) did not contain any particles on its surface. The efficiency of CSY and CCY towards the radionuclide adsorption was studied in batch mode at fixed contact time, concentration, and at its native pH. CSY was efficient in removal of 239Pu94 (76.75%) and 106Ru44 (54.73%) whereas CCY showed efficient removal only for 241Am95 (62.89%). Both the adsorbents did not show any retention with respect to 60Co27 and 137Cs55. Based on the experimental data, decontamination factor and distribution coefficient (Kd) were calculated and, from the values, it was observed that these adsorbents have greater potential to adsorb radionuclides.