CHAPTER 4: Biosorption of Elements
Published:18 Jul 2013
Biosorption is a unique ability of living or dead biomass to interact with substances such as metals where reduction of sorbate concentration can be achieved. Thus, it has been widely proposed as a promising alternative for metal remediation and recovery owing to its low cost and sustainable “green” nature. Despite considerable biosorption‐related research performed in the past few decades, no significant commercial success has been achieved so far. This chapter starts with discussion of the basic science of biosorption and the potential of some selected biomasses such as yeast, algae, agro‐based waste and vermicompost to be used as biosorbent material. Following this, some important issues regarding the practical application of biosorption are highlighted, including the advantages and disadvantages of using dead or living biomass, the availability of biosorption reactors, immobilization techniques, metal recovery and post‐treatment of spent biosorbent. Lastly, current challenges that limit the commercial success of biosorption as well as the direction of future research are discussed.