The biosorption of mercury by permeable pavement biofilms in stormwater attenuation

A. Fathollahi, S.J. Coupe, A. El-Sheikh, L.A. Sañudo-Fontaneda

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    11 Citations (Scopus)
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    This study reports on the evaluation of the equilibrium, thermodynamics and kinetics of mercury (II) biosorption using a living biofilm, developed on a nonwoven polypropylene and polyethylene geotextile, typically used within the structure of Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) devices. Batch biosorption assays were carried out with variables such as pH, initial concentrations, contact time, temperature and biofilm incubation time. Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin Radushkevich (D-R) models were applied to the equilibrium data which revealed the maximum biosorption capacities and efficiencies at pH 5.5 with a contact time of 120 min at 25 °C. With 20 mg L -1 added Hg (II), living biofilm samples with incubation times of 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days, biosorption values were 101.31 (55.72%), 24.41 (67.12%), 16.81 (61.37%), 9.70 (62.57%) and 13.34 (65.38%) mg g -1, respectively. Free mean biosorption energy from the D-R model was between 2.24 and 2.36 kJ mol -1 for all biofilm development incubation times, that revealed the physical biosorption mechanism for Hg(II). The thermodynamic studies showed that the Hg(II) biosorption of living biofilm was thermodynamically feasible and had a spontaneous and exothermic nature. Kinetic parameters revealed that Hg(II) biosorption onto living biofilm had a good correlation with a pseudo second-order kinetic model. FTIR spectra after biosorption suggested that amine, hydroxyl and carboxyl groups were the main functional groups available and responsible for Hg(II) biosorption onto living biofilm. Experimental data suggested that a living biofilm developed on a nonwoven polypropylene and polyethylene geotextile can be efficient in the removal of mercury ions from contaminated urban and industrial runoff.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number140411
    Number of pages12
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Early online date20 Jun 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

    Bibliographical note

    © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.


    European Union's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant No 765057


    • Hg(II)
    • Biofilm
    • Biosorption
    • Kinetics
    • Geotextile
    • SuDS


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