MicrobeWorld App


Microbes After Hours


Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email


Featured Image

Featured Video

Ebola Virus explained


ASM House 200X200

Warning: imagecreatefromstring(): Data is not in a recognized format in /var/www/plugins/content/jlembed/jlembed.php on line 378 Warning: imagesx(): supplied argument is not a valid Image resource in /var/www/plugins/content/jlembed/jlembed.php on line 379

Scanning electron micrograph of a new genus of beta-Proteobacteria responsible for the degradation of organic oxalate waste produced by Bayer processing

2B2 22.jpg
A new genus of beta-Proteobacteria has been isolated from bioreactors treating oxalate wastes that are produced by Bayer refining of bauxite into alumina. The bacteria are indigenous to the alumina refinery environment and are capable of removing up to 40 tonnes of oxalate wastes produced on site at the Alcoa Kwinana refinery in Western Australia each day. The use of these bioreactors means that the oxalate wastes no longer have to be burned, which means the emission of excess CO2 and other stinky organic compounds can be avoided. It also means that the refinery doesn't need to construct and maintain expensive storage facilities for the oxalate wastes. The use of these bioreactor systems and these particular bacteria have significantly reduced the environmental footprint of the aluminium, alumina and bauxite industries. The bacteria (with a proposed name of Alkalihalobacillus oxalodevorans which literally means high pH- and high salt-loving rod shaped bacteria that eat oxalate) were isolated as part of a University of Western Australia PhD project by microbiologist Naomi McSweeney in conjuction with Alcoa World Alumina and the CSIRO Light Metals Flagship. Photo credit: Dr Kayley Usher (CSIRO Land and Water, Floreat WA, Australia).

Comments (1)

  1. Nice hairy bug!

Collections (1)


American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use