Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2758

Review

Utilization of biomaterials as adsorbents for heavy metals’ removal from aqueous matrices

B. O. Opeolu1*, O. Bamgbose2, T. A. Arowolo2 and M. T. Adetunji3
1Department of Chemistry, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa. 2Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. 3Department of Soil Science and Land Management, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 June 2010
  •  Published: 18 July 2010

Abstract

Globally, the available amount of freshwater is unevenly distributed due to problems associated with climate change, inefficient water management and pollution. This has led to increased demand for water worldwide. Heavy metals, in particular are a group of pollutants (mostly from domestic, agricultural and industrial activities) of major concern in the aquatic environment due to their toxicity. Existing technologies for heavy metals’ removal from waters and wastewaters are often ineffective (especially at environmental levels), expensive and unavailable in developing countries. A higher percentage of these pollutants are therefore being released into aquatic ecosystems by manufacturing facilities in these nations. The need to find alternative inexpensive and effective methods for heavy metals abatement from waters becomes inevitable. Biosorption is an emerging field in this regard and has great potentials for application in developing economies. It involves the use of living or non-living biological materials for pollutants’ removal from aqueous solutions and industrial effluents. This paper therefore reviews developments in the use of biosorbents for the remediation of waters and wastewaters.

 

Key words: Heavy metals, waters and wastewaters, biosorption, pollution.