Biosorption of heavy metals by distillery-derived biomass

M Bustard, Anthony McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Biomass derived from the Old Bushmill's Distillery Co. Ltd., Northern Ireland was harvested and examined for its ability to function as a biosorbent for metals such as Cu, Zn, Fe, Pb and Ag. Binding studies were carried out using biosorption isotherm analysis. Although the material had previously been shown to be capable of efficient U biosorption, its affinity for Cu, Zn, Fe was lower. However, binding studies with Pb demonstrated that it had a maximum biosorption capacity for that metal of 189 mg/g dry weight of the biomass. In addition, the biomass exhibited a maximum biosorption capacity of 59 mg/g dry weight for Ag and this compared very favourably with previously quoted values for other industrial sources of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. On the basis of the biosorption isotherm analyses carried out in this study, preference for this series of metals by the biomass was found to be Pb > U > Ag > Zn greater than or equal to Fe > Cu.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-353
JournalBioprocess Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 1998


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