Mercury detoxification by absorption, mercuric ion reductase, and exopolysaccharides: a comprehensive study

  • Shalini Singh
  • Vipin KumarEmail author
Sustainable Industrial and Environmental Bioprocesses


Mercury (Hg), the environmental toxicant, is present in the soil, water, and air as it is substantially distributed throughout the environment. Being extremely toxic even at low concentration, its remediation is utterly important. Therefore, it is necessary to detoxify the contaminant within the acceptable limits before threatening the environment. Although various conventional methods are being used, irrespective of high cost, it produces intermediate toxic by-product too. Biological methods are eco-friendly, clean, greener, and safer for the remediation of heavy metals corresponding to the conventional remediation due to their economic and high-tech constraints. Bioremediation is now being used for Hg (II) removal, which involves biosorption and bioaccumulation mechanisms or both, also mercuric ion reductase, exopolysaccharide play significant role in detoxification of mercury by acting a potential instrument for the remediation of heavy metals. In this review paper, we shed light on problems caused by mercury pollution, mercury cycle, and its global scenario and detoxification approaches by biological methods and result found in the literature.


Mercury Bioremediation Biosorption Biosorbent Bioaccumulation Mercury reductase enzyme Exopolysaccharides Phytoremediation 



The authors are extremely grateful to the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (ISM), Dhanbad, for providing needed facilities, support, and encouragements during the construction of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, Department of Environmental Science & EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines)DhanbadIndia

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