Bioadsorption of Heavy Metals

  • Aridane G. González
  • Oleg S. Pokrovsky
  • J. Magdalena Santana-Casiano
  • Melchor González-Dávila


Pollution caused by heavy metals is one of the most serious environmental problems for society. Industrial activities increase the concentration of heavy metals such as Cu(II), Cd(II), Zn(II), Pb(II) and Ni(II) in aquatic systems and mainly in the fields of mechanics, electrics, electronics, tanning, galvanization, oil industries and mining. Biomagnification of these metals occurs through the toxicity of the trophic for humans. As a remedial measure, it is for scientists to find new biosorbents which are able to ameliorate the possible toxic effects of heavy metals in water bodies. Studies of bioadsorption have identified this as a real alternative to wastewater treatment, especially for the removal of heavy metals. This chapter explores (1) the characterization of new biosorbents via surface acid–base titration, where the type of functional groups can be tentatively computed, (2) kinetics of bioadsorption (pseudo-first and second order), (3) bioadsorption as a function of pH and (4) bioadsorption as a function of metal concentration in solution (Langmuir, Freundlich, Sips, Redlich–Peterson, Tóth, Frumkin and Temkin isotherms), where the maximum adsorption capacity can be determined under different experimental conditions. The majority of bioadsorption studies have been carried out at laboratory scale; however, future studies will be conducted at industrial scale as a way to remediate heavy metal pollution in water bodies. Different commercial biosorbents and their characteristics are presented in this chapter.



Aridane G. González thanks the French ‘Agence Nationale de la Recherche’ through the ‘Laboratoire d’Excellence’ LabexMER (ANR-10-LABX-19-01) program, and co-funded by a grant from the French government through the ‘Investissements d’Avenir’ and the Brittany Region. Oleg S. Pokrovsky thanks the support from BIO-GEO-CLIM grant No 14.B25.31.0001. J. Magdalena Satana-Casiano and Melchor González-Dávila thank the Project CTM2014-52342-P given by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad from Spain.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aridane G. González
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Oleg S. Pokrovsky
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. Magdalena Santana-Casiano
    • 5
  • Melchor González-Dávila
    • 5
  1. 1.Université de Bretagne Occidentale, IUEMBrestFrance
  2. 2.LEMAR-UMR 6539, CNRS-UBO-IRD-IFREMER, Place Nicolas CopernicPlouzanéFrance
  3. 3.GET (Géosciences Environnement Toulouse), UMR 5563 CNRSToulouseFrance
  4. 4.BIO-GEO-CLIM LaboratoryTomsk State UniversityTomskRussia
  5. 5.Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global (IOCAG), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain

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