Metal biosorption in single- and multi-metal solutions by biosorbents: Indicators of efficacy in natural wastewater

Carrie Siew Fang Sim, Adeline Su Yien Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Metal biosorption by a mixed-microbial biosorbent of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (bacterium) and Saccharicola bicolor (fungus) was compared against their respective single biosorbents to determine their efficacies in removing Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd in single- and multi-metal solutions. The multi-metal solutions mimic natural wastewater which may interact differently between metal ions-biosorbent, as well as between the metal ions. The results revealed that application of S. maltophilia (single, Sm) was the most effective, followed by mixed-biosorbent (MB), then S. bicolor (single, Sb); occurring in both single- and multi-metal solutions. The biosorbents preferred Cu > Pb > Cd > Zn in both metal-solutions, with Sm demonstrating superior biosorption for all metals compared to other biosorbents. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) analysis detected different functional group profiles present on mixed biosorbent compared to the respective single forms, which may have influenced metal biosorption. All biosorbents adsorbed most of the metals via a rate-limiting step indicated by compliance to pseudo-second order kinetic. The biosorbent Sm was identified to having the most potential for further development as useful biosorbent for application in natural wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600049
Number of pages7
JournalCLEAN: Soil, Air, Water
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Mixed biosorbents
  • Multi-metal solutions
  • Saccharicola bicolor
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Wastewater treatment

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