A comparative investigation on the biosorption of lead by filamentous fungal biomass

Wai Hung Lo, Hong Chua, Kim Hung Lam, Shu Ping Bi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)


The removal of lead from aqueous solutions by adsorption on filamentous fungal biomass was studied. Batch biosorption experiments were performed to screen a series of selected fungal strains for effective lead removal at different metal and biomass concentrations. Biosorption of the Pb2+ions was strongly affected by pH. The fungal biomass exhibited the highest lead adsorption capacity at pH 6. Isotherms for the biosorption of lead on fungal biomass were developed and the equilibrium data fitted well to the Langmuir isotherm model. At pH 6, the maximum lead biosorption capacity of Mucor rouxii estimated with the Langmuir model was 769 mg/g dry biomass, significantly higher than that of most microorganisms. Biomass of Mucor rouxii showed specific selectivity for Pb2+over other metals ions such as Zn2+, Ni2+and Cu2+. This fungal strain may be applied to develop potentially cost-effective biosorbent for removing lead from effluents. The technique of scanning electron microscopy coupled with X-ray dispersion analysis shows that Pb2+has exchanged with K+and Ca2+on the cell wall of Mucor rouxii, thereby suggesting ion exchange as one of the dominant mechanisms of metal biosorption for this fungal strain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2723-2736
Number of pages14
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Chemistry


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