International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Biological Treatment of Cyanide Containing Wastewater

Author Affiliations

  • 1Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun-248007, U.K., INDIA
  • 2 Department of Biotechnology, S.D. College of Engineering and Technology, Muzaffarnagar-251001, UP, INDIA
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, UK, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 1, Issue (7), Pages 15-21, October,18 (2011)


Cyanide compounds are released in to the water stream from a number of industrial effluent and several routes including biodegradation for their removal from the waste water are under investigation. The present review describes the mechanism and advances in the use of biological treatment for the removal of cyanide compounds and its advantages over other treatment processes. It also includes various microbial pathways for their removal. The feasibility of the concomitant biogas generation during anaerobic biodegradation of cyanide has also been described. A comparative study has been done on the efficiency of aerobic and anaerobic biological degradation of cyanide. The limitations of this process have also been discussed.


  1. Dash R.R., Gaur A. and Majumderbalo C., Cyanide in industrial wastewaters and its removal: A review on biotreatment, J. Hazard. Mater.,163(1), 1-11 (2009)
  2. Eisler R., Cyanide hazards to fish, wildlife and invertebrates: a synoptic review, U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Biol. Rep., 85(1.23),(1991)
  3. U.S. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), Ambient water quality criteria for cyanide. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., (59),(1985)
  4. Knowles C., Micro-organisms and Cyanide, Biolo. Rev.,(40), 652-680 (1976)
  5. Seigler D.S. Plants of the Northeastern United States that produce Cyanogenic Compounds, Econ Bot., (30),395-407 (1976)
  6. Eyjolfsson R., Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Cyanogenic Gycosides, Fortschr, Chem.Org.Naturst., (28), 74-108 (1970)
  7. Smith A. and Mudder T.I.,The chemistry and treatment of cyanidation Mining Journal Books Ltd., London, United Kingdom (1991)
  8. Ebbs S., Biological degradation of cyanide compound, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol.,15(3), 231-236 (2004)
  9. Dash R.R. and Majumderbalo C. Kumar A., Cyanide removal by combined adsorption and biodegradation process, Iran. J. Environ. Health. Sci. Eng.,3(2), 91-96 (2006)
  10. Young C.A. and Jordan T.S., Cyanide remediation: current and past technologies. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on Hazardous Waste Research, Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center, Kansas State University, Kansas, 104-129 (1995)
  11. Raybuck SA., Microbes and microbial enzymes for cyanide degradation, Biodegradation, (3), 3-18 (1992)
  12. Dubey S.K. and Holmes D.S., Biological cyanide destruction mediated by microorganisms, World J Microbiol Biotechnol, (11), 257 (1995)
  13. Ezzi-Mufaddal I, Lynch James M., Cyanide catabolizing enzymes in Trichoderma spp., Enzyme Microb Technol, (31),1042-1047 (2002)
  14. Barclay M., Day J.C., Thompson I.P., Knowles C.J. and Bailey MJ., Substrate-regulated cyanide hydratase (chy) gene expression in Fusarium solani: the potential of a transcription-based assay for monitoring the biotransformation of cyanide complexes, Environ Microbiol, (4), 183-189 (2002)
  15. O’Reilly C and Turner P.D., The nitrilase family of C.N. hydrolyzing enzymes: a comparative study, Jr. Appl. Microbiol., (95), 1161-1174 (2003)
  16. Kwon H.K., Woo S.H. and Park J.M., Thiocyanate degradation by Acremonium strictum and inhibition by secondary toxicants, Biotechnol. Lett., (24), 1347-1351 (2002)
  17. Sorokin D.Y., Tourova T.P., Lysenko A.M. and Kuenen J.G., Microbial thiocyanate utilization under highly alkaline conditions, Appl. Biochem. Microbiol.,(67),528-538 (2001)
  18. Gurbuz F., Hasan C. and Akcil A., and Karahan A.G., Microbial detoxification of cyanide solutions: a new biotechnological approach using algae, Hydrometallurgy, (72), 167-176 (2004)
  19. Gurbuz F., Hasan C., Akcil A., Biodegradation of cyanide containing effluents by Scenedesmus obliquus, J. Hazard. Mater,16(1), 74-79 (2009)
  20. Akcil A., Karahan A.G., Ciftci H. and Sagdic O. Biological treatment of cyanide by natural isolated bacteria (Pseudomonas sp.) Mineral Engg, (16), 643-649 (2003)
  21. Harris R. and Knowles C.J. Isolation and growth of a Pseudomonas species that utilizes cyanide as a source of nitrogen, J. Gen. Microbial., (129), 1005-1011 (1983)
  22. Patil Y.B. and Paknikar K.M., Development of a process for biodetoxification of metal cyanides from wastewater, Pro. Biochem,(35), 1139-1151 (2000)
  23. Dumestre A., Chone T., Portal J., Gerard M., and Berthelin J., Cyanide degradation under alkaline conditions by a strain of Fusarium solani isolated from contaminated soils, Appl. Environ. Micro, 2729-2734 (1997)
  24. Gantzer C.J. and Maier W.J., Biological degradation of cyanide by nitrogen-fixing Cyanobacteria, EPA/600/S2-90/34, risk reduction engineering laboratory, Cincinnati, O.H. (1990)
  25. Kwon H.K., Woo S.H., Sung J.Y. and Park J.M.,Degradation of tetracyanonickelate (II) by Cryptococcus humicolus in biofilm reactors.