Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 399–403 | Cite as

Heavy metal biosorption by fungal mycelial by-products: mechanisms and influence of pH

  • Eric Fourest
  • Jean-Claude Roux
Environmental Biotechnology


Mycelial wastes of Rhizopus arrhizus, used in fermentation industries to produce lipases, were studied for their ability to absorb various heavy metal ions (Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb). Chelation of all these ions occurs by a chemical, equilibrated and saturatable mechanism, following the Langmuir adsorption model. Data transformation allowed us to calculate maximum uptake and dissociation constants of the sorption reaction. We also investigated the influence of pH on metal accumulation. Sorption capacity variations between different biosorbent types (Rhizopus, Mucor, Penicillium, and Aspergillus), could be related to their acidity. pH neutralisation during the sorption reaction considerably enhanced zinc chelation (up to 56 mg/g). Previous NaOH treatment of mycelial wastes also increased their capacity for metal sorption. We report R. arrhizus metal uptake curves versus pH, using a pH-stat system. Optimal adsorption was achieved at neutral pH for nickel and zinc, pH 5.0 for lead, and inhibition of chelation was observed when the pH decreased. These results illustrate the importance of pH during the adsorption process, indicating a competitive mechanism for chelation between heavy metal ions and protons at cell wall adsorption sites.


Lipase Biosorption Penicillium Mucor Uptake Curve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Fourest
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Roux
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Transferts dans les Systèmes VégétauxD.B.M.S., C.E.A.Grenoble CedexFrance

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