Metal removal from multi-metal solutions by metal-tolerant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia isolated from river sediment

Carrie Siew Fang Sim, Adeline Su Yien Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The efficacy of S. maltophilia in removing Pb2+, Cu2+, Zn2+ and Cd2+ from multi-metal solutions was determined by comparing against single-metal solutions. Results showed that the removal of the cations was higher in single than multi-metal solutions with mean uptake of 70 mg g–1 of metals removed compared to less than 10 mg g–1 metals, respectively. Biosorption of Pb2+ was the highest in both single (70.89 mg g–1) and multi-metal solutions (8.05 mg g–1). Metal removal by S. maltophilia in multi-metal solutions was influenced by different pH and adsorbent dosages used, in which pH 7 and low adsorbent dosages (0.10–0.50 g) led to higher amount of metals removed (pH 7: 3.26 –12.28 mg g–1; 0.10–0.50 g: 2.30–8.71 mg g–1). ATR-FTIR analysis revealed that metal-binding sites for S. maltophilia were attributed to functional groups such as hydroxyl (–OH), amine (–NH2) and carboxyl (–COOH). Biosorption by S. maltophilia was found to comply with pseudo-second order, suggesting that the biosorption process is chemically rate-limited. This study showed that the metal-tolerant S. maltophilia has good potential as biosorbent for removal of metals, with recommended dosage and pH at 0.10–0.50 g and pH 7, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Adsorbent dosages
  • Biosorption
  • Multi-metal solutions
  • pH
  • Single-metal solutions
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

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