Heavy metal biosorption by bacterial cells

A Vecchio*, C Finoli, D Di Simine, [No Value] Andreoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial biomass provides available ligand groups on which metal ions bind by different mechanisms. Biosorption of these elements from aqueous solutions represents a remediation technology suitable for the treatment of metal-contaminated effluents. The purpose of the present investigation was the assessment of the capability of Brevibacterium sp. cells to remove bivalent ions, when present alone or in pairs, from aqueous solutions, using immobilized polyacrylamide cells of the microorganism in a flow-through system. The biosorption capacity of Brevibacterium cells was studied for lead, cadmium and copper. The metal cell binding capacity followed the order Cu > Pb > Cd, based on estimated q(max). These values, expressed as mmol metal/g dry weight cells, were 0.54 for Cu, 0.36 for Pb and 0.14 for Cd. Polyacrylamide-gel immobilized cells were effective in Pb, Cu and Cd removal. Lead removal was not affected by the presence of Cd and Cu; lead instead inhibited Cd and Cu removal. The desorption of the metal, by fluxing a chelating solution, restored the metal binding capacity of the cells, thus affording the multiple use of the same biomass in the remediation treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-342
Number of pages5
JournalFresenius journal of analytical chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun-1998
Event7th International Hans Wolfgang Nurnberg Memorial Symposium on Metal Compounds in Environment and Life - , Italy
Duration: 4-Jun-19977-Jun-1997


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