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Biosorption of metal contaminants using immobilized biomass.

Jeffers TM; Ferguson CR; Seidel DC
Biohydrometallurgy 1989. Proceedings of the International Symposium held at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 13-18, 1989. Salley J, McCready RGL, Wichlacz PL, eds., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, CANMET SP89-10, 1989 Jan; :317-327
The ability of microbial populations to sorb metals from dilute aqueous solutions is well documented. The U.S. Bureau of Mines has investigated the use of biomass immobilized in porous polysulfone beads for extracting toxic and heavy metals for dilute waste streams. The beads, designated as bio-fix beads, were fabricated from high-density polysulfone dissolved in dimethylformamide (dmf). Dried, thermally killed biomass produced by algae, yeast, bacteria, and aquatic flora were blended into the polysulfone-dmf solution, and spherical beads were formed by injecting the mixture into water. Microscopic analysis revealed that the biomass was immobilized within the bead pores. Bio-fix beads exhibited excellent handling characteristics and were utilized in stirred tanks, fixed-bed columns, and fluidized-bed columns to sorb metal contaminants from several wastewaters. Contaminants removed from the waters included arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, lead, manganese, and zinc. Laboratory tests indicated that the beads may be especially useful in treating dilute wastewaters containing metal concentrations up to about 15 mg/l. Bio-fix beads are also well adapted for use in secondary treatment or "polishing" of wastewaters. Elution of metal values from the beads was accomplished using dilute mineral acids. Laboratory tests indicated that the beads continued to extract metal ions after repeated loading-elution cycles.
Metallurgy; Laboratory-testing; Water-sampling; Waste-treatment; Environmental-contamination; Sorption; Biomass; Performance-evaluation; Kinetics; Elution; Immobilization; Ground-water; Process-charting; Metals; Water-pollution-control; Acid-mine-drainage; Biological-treatment; Polysulfones; BIO-FIX-beads; Biosorption
Publication Date
Document Type
OP; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Salley J; McCready RGL; Wichlacz PL
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 99-90
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Biohydrometallurgy 1989: Proceedings of the International Symposium held at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 13-18, 1989, CANMET SP89-10
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division