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BARS 2022

Survey on recent Biosorption studies of top priority pollutants with low cost adsorbents


Sarina Valez


Abel Navarro PhD


The US Environmental Protection Agency supervises the accumulation, transport, discharge, and presence of anthropogenic substances in the environment. Water composes more than 75% of the Earth and therefore, it is crucial to maintain its quality. Water pollution is a worldwide concern, not only in highly industrialized countries but also in developing countries that do not count on the assets to improve public health and appropriate life quality conditions. To date, different biotechnological approaches are being used to decontaminate water, including microbial biotechnology, genetic modification to make microbes more resistant, oil-degrading microbes, nano composites as adsorbents, ion exchange resins. Likewise, conventional water treatment techniques have evolved in recent years to optimize their remediation outcomes, like electro-deposition, reverse osmosis,  ultracentrifugation, and ultra filtration, among others. Biosorption is defined as using non-living biomass for the uptake and adsorption of contaminants from air soil, and water, using physicochemical interactions. Biosorption has been studied since the 1980s, when the first paper was published, having Bohumil Volesky as one of the pioneers in the field, since then, the number of publications has exponentially increased. According to SCOPUS, around 320 articles were published in 2016 on Biosorption. Our research focuses on using cost-effective bio materials from tea wastes to fruit peels for the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants. This project synthesizes all the recent advances in biosorption in the last three years, primarily in top-priority substances like phosphate (responsible for algal blooms), Penicillin, and Enrofloxacion (responsible for antimicrobial resistance), and Copper and Gold ions (heavy and precious metals that are important in the industry). This review displays the latest research and potent adsorbents currently being used and their efficiency. This work represents a starting point to develop or mimic new materials that maximize the adsorption of pollutants from water and recycle biowastes to reduce not only wastes but also contaminants from our environment.

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