Biosorption of Metal Contaminants Using Immobilized Biomass-A Laboratory Study
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines has developed porous beads containing immobilized biological materials for removing metal contaminants from waste waters. The beads, designated as BID-FIX beads, are prepared by blending biomass, such as sphagnum peat moss or algae, into a polymer solution and spraying the mixture into water. Laboratory studies were conducted to determine bead sorption and elution characteristics. Batch and continuous tests demonstrated that BIO-FIX beads sorbed arsenic, cadmium, lead, and other toxic metals from acid mine drainage waters collected from several sites. Selectivity for heavy and toxic metal ions over calcium and magnesium was demonstrated. The beads exhibited excellent metal sorption and handling characteristics in stirred tanks, column contactors, and a low-maintenance passive system. The sorption process was reversible, and metal ions were eluted from the beads using dilute mineral acids. Cyclic tests indicated that the beads continued to extract metal ions after repeated loading-elution cycles.
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