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Evaluation of immobilized biomass beads for removing heavy metals from wastewaters

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Immobilized biomass beads, which consist of dried and ground sphagnum peat moss immobilized in a porous polysulfone matrix, effectively remove heavy metals from wastewaters under appropriate conditions. This paper examines the procedure for forming the beads and their performance in packed columns. The beads are produced by atomizing an organic dispersion into water, creating droplets that become solid through phase inversion. Increasing the relative biomass content gave slightly lower surface areas. Metal ion break through curves were obtained for metal ions from two actual acid mine drainage wastewaters. The selectivity of the beads for various cations was Fe > Al > Pb > Cu > Cd, Zn > Ca > Mn > Mg > Na. Capacity increases with initial pH of the column after regeneration. Bead titration tests indicate that the immobilized biomass beads have heterogeneous ionogenic adsorption sites. Experimental results also indicate that most of the magnesium removed from water by the immobilized biomass beads is adsorbed and exchangeable with potassium. Under the conditions used here, the immobilized biomass beads have a lower capacity than two commercially available ion exchange resins.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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