Biosorption of lead, copper, and cadmium with continuous hollow-fiber microfiltration processes

Jo Shu Chang, Chia Chi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


A hollow-fiber crossflow microfiltration membrane was utilized to retain a biomass of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PU21 for continuous biosorption of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), and cadmium (Cd) ions in single or ternary metal systems. The results obtained from the microfiltration systems showed that in both single and ternary biosorption, the metal removal efficiency based on a molar basis was clearly Pb > Cu > Cd. For a single-membrane process with an influent metal concentration of 200 μM and a flow rate of 350 mL/h, the effluent concentration of Pb and Cu satisfied the national regulations for an influent volume of 6.3 L. With a three-metal influent, the adsorption capacity of the biomass for Pb, Cu, and Cd was reduced 4, 50, and 74% compared to that for single-metal adsorption. Selective biosorption with a three-column sequential microfiltration operation exhibited an enhancement of 40 and 57% of total metal removal for Cu and Cd, respectively, over the results from single-membrane operation. The multimembrane operation also enabled locally optimal accumulation of Pb, Cu, and Cd at the first, second, and third stage, respectively. The regeneration efficiency of the biomass was 70% after three repetitive adsorption/desorption cycles, whereas the Pb recovery efficiency was maintained at nearly 90%. A rapid-equilibrium model (Model A) and a mass-transfer model (Model B) were used to describe the results of single- and multimetal biosorption with the microfiltration processes. Model A exhibited excellent prediction for the results of single-metal biosorption, while Model B was more applicable to interpret the multimetal biosorption data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1627
Number of pages21
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation

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