Biosorption of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn from aqueous solutions by the fruiting bodies of jelly fungi (Tremella fuciformis and Auricularia polytricha).

Research paper by Rong R Pan, Lixiang L Cao, Haiwei H Huang, Renduo R Zhang, Yu Y Mo

Indexed on: 19 Aug '10Published on: 19 Aug '10Published in: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


In this study, dried and humid fruiting bodies of Tremella fuciformis and Auricularia polytricha were examined as cost-effective biosorbents in treatment of heavy metals (Cd(2+), Cu(2+), Pb(2+), and Zn(2+)) in aqueous solution. The humid T. fuciformis showed the highest capacity to adsorb the four metals in the multi-metal solutions. The Pb(2+) adsorption rates were 85.5%, 97.8%, 84.8%, and 91.0% by dried T. fuciformis, humid T. fuciformis, dried A. polytricha, and humid A. polytricha, respectively. The adsorption amount of Pb(2+) by dried and humid T. fuciformis in Cd(2+) + Pb(2+), Cu(2+) + Pb(2+), Pb(2+) + Zn(2+), Cd(2+) + Cu(2+) + Pb(2+), and Cd(2+) + Zn(2+) + Pb(2+) solutions were not lower than that in Pb(2+) solutions. The results suggested that in humid T. fuciformis, Cd(2+), Cu(2+), and Zn(2+) promoted the Pb(2+) adsorption by the biomass. In the multi-metal solutions of Cd(2+) + Cu(2+) + Pb(2+) + Zn(2+), the adsorption amount and rates of the metals by all the test biosorbents were in the order of Pb(2+) > Cu(2+) > Zn(2+) > Cd(2+). Compared with the pseudo first-order model, the pseudo second-order model described the adsorption kinetics much better, indicating a two-step biosorption process. The present study confirmed that fruiting bodies of the jelly fungi should be useful for the treatment of wastewater containing Cd(2+), Cu(2+), Pb(2+), and Zn(2+).