Heavy metals contamination has become a global issue of concern due to their higher toxicities, nature of non-biodegradability, high capabilities in bioaccumulation in human body and food chain, and carcinogenicities to humans. A series of researches demonstrate that biosorption is a promising technology for removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions. Algae serve as good biosorbents due to their abundance in seawater and fresh water, cost-effectiveness, reusability and high metal sorption capacities. This article provides a comprehensive review of recent findings on performances, applications and chemistry of algae (e.g., brown, green and red algae, modified algae and the derivatives) for sequestration of heavy metals. Biosorption kinetics and equilibrium models are reviewed. The mechanisms for biosorption are presented. Biosorption is a complicated process involving ion-exchange, complexation and coordination. Finally the theoretical simulation tools for biosorption equilibrium and kinetics are presented so that the readers can use them for further studies.
- Heavy metals
- Marine algae
- Theoretical modeling simulation