Polysaccharides as Support for Microbial Biomass-Based Adsorbents with Applications in Removal of Heavy Metals and Dyes

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Aug 27;13(17):2893. doi: 10.3390/polym13172893.


The use of biosorbents for the decontamination of industrial effluent (e.g., wastewater treatment) by retaining non-biodegradable pollutants (antibiotics, dyes, and heavy metals) has been investigated in order to develop inexpensive and effective techniques. The exacerbated water pollution crisis is a huge threat to the global economy, especially in association with the rapid development of industry; thus, the sustainable reuse of different treated water resources has become a worldwide necessity. This review investigates the use of different natural (living and non-living) microbial biomass types containing polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids (natural polymers) as biosorbents in free and immobilized forms. Microbial biomass immobilization performed by using polymeric support (i.e., polysaccharides) would ensure the production of efficient biosorbents, with good mechanical resistance and easy separation ability, utilized in different effluents’ depollution. Biomass-based biosorbents, due to their outstanding biosorption abilities and good efficiency for effluent treatment (concentrated or diluted solutions of residuals/contaminants), need to be used in industrial environmental applications, to improve environmental sustainability of the economic activities. This review presents the most recent advances related the main polymers such as polysaccharides and microbial cells used for biosorbents production; a detailed analysis of the biosorption capability of algal, bacterial and fungal biomass; as well as a series of specific applications for retaining metal ions and organic dyes. Even if biosorption offers many advantages, the complexity of operation increased by the presence of multiple pollutants in real wastewater combined with insufficient knowledge on desorption and regeneration capacity of biosorbents (mostly used in laboratory scale) requires more large-scale biosorption experiments in order to adequately choose a type of biomass but also a polymeric support for an efficient treatment process.

PMID:34502933 | PMC:PMC8433894 | DOI:10.3390/polym13172893


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