Proteins exhibit specific interactions with various metal ions, which play important roles in a living cell. Here, we found that various proteins selectively adsorbed precious metal ions at a wide range of pH values. Studies on protein sequences and on synthesized peptides revealed that a histidine-containing sequence had specific interactions with precious metal ions (Au3+ and Pd2+). We then investigated a few types of protein-rich biomass as adsorbents for precious metal ions. In the presence of various transition metal ions, Au3+ and Pd2+ were also selectively adsorbed onto the biomass tested. The bound precious metal ions were recovered by aqua regia after charring the metal-bound biomass. Finally, we demonstrated the successful recovery of Au3+ and Pd2+ from a metal refining solution and a metal plating waste using the biomass. We propose an environmentally friendly recycling system for precious metal ions using protein-rich biomass.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry