Removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous system by ion-exchange and biosorption methods

  • Arshid Bashir
  • Lateef Ahmad Malik
  • Sozia Ahad
  • Taniya Manzoor
  • Mudasir Ahmad Bhat
  • G. N. Dar
  • Altaf Hussain Pandith


Pollution due to heavy metals is currently a serious problems affecting water bodies. The removal of heavy metals is of great concern due to their toxicity at trace levels and accumulation in the biosystem. Here we review the technical feasibility of biosorption and ion exchange methods for the removal of various heavy metals from the aqueous media. Chemical pretreatment of low-cost biosorbents are presented. Chemically modified biosorbents exhibit far better adsorption capacities than unmodified ones. We also highlighted the effect of pH on the biosorption for maximal uptake of heavy metals, because pH modifies the surface charge of the biosorbent as well as the speciation of heavy metals.


Heavy metal remediation Ion exchange Biosorption Layered materials 

List of symbols


Distribution coefficient (mL g−1)


Rate constant of first-order adsorption


Rate constant for pseudo-second-order model


Amount of solute adsorbed at equilibrium condition


Saturated monolayer adsorption capacity


Sorption equilibrium constant


Sips constant


Adsorbate solubility at a given temperature


Characteristic constant related to the adsorption capacity


Equilibrium concentration


Initial metal ion concentrations


Characteristic constant related to adsorption intensity or degree of favorability of adsorption


Temkin constant in relation to heat of sorption (kJ mol−1)


Temkin isotherm constant (L g−1)


Halsey constants


Halsey constants


A constant (proportional to the liquid molar volume)


Solid characteristic energy toward a reference compound


Degree of surface coverage


Equilibrium constant of adsorption


Number of metal ions occupying sorption sites


Sips parameter



Authors, A. H. Pandith and G. N. Dar thank DST, GOI, for financial support vide reference number DST/TM/WTI/2K16/248 (G). A.B, L.A.M and T.M would like to thank Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, for financial assistance in the form of Junior Research Fellowships (JRF).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of KashmirHazratbal, SrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryNational Institute of TechnologyHazratbal, SrinagarIndia
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of KashmirHazratbal, SrinagarIndia

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