Corncob powder possessing its superiority in environmental sustainability and cost, was approved with strong capability of being a replacement of biochar in facilitating the microbial carbonate precipitation process. In this study, the ureolytic bacterial strain Bacillus sp. WA isolated from a pre-acquired metal contaminated soil in Guiyu, China, was showed to be well attached on the surfaces of corncob powder, indicating the carrier's role as a durable shelter for bacterial cells. The efficient immobilization helped develop biochemical composite material (BCM) and proven to function better the calcite precipitation. Afterwards, the mechanism and multi-directional benefits of BCM in edaphic cadmium remediation were examined through pot experiment and compared with corncob powder/bacterial strain/nutrient media as control groups. Integrated lab-scale analyses emphasized the advantages of BCM by the maximum soil urease activity (up to 3.440 U/mg and increased by 214% in 28 days), maximal bacterial propagation (most abundant population in fluorescence microscopy), richest surface functional group (most remarkable O[sbnd]C bond and C[dbnd]O bond in FTIR result), notable calcite precipitation (clear calcite crystals on the surface of BCM compared to control group under SEM-EDS), and highest Cd immobilization rate (exchangeable Cd decreased by 68.54%), among all treatments. The pH and electroconductivity measurements additionally led to the mechanism of corncob powder and NBU promoting pre-existed ureolytic bacteria in soil, which demonstrated the added value of corncob to be fine carbon source and residence shelter for soil microorganism, revealing its potential in developing agricultural materials.
- Ureolytic bacteria