Cu2+ Removal in a Biosorption Column by Immobilized Bacterial Biomass

A. Cabuk and S. İlhan*

Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Osmangazi University, 26480, Meşelik, Eskişehir, Turkey

Received 3 May 2002; accepted 12 January 2003


Removal of excess heavy metal ions from waste waters is essential due to their extreme toxicity towards aquatic life and humans. Microorganisms are being increasingly studied for the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution. In this study, bacterial biomass, which was isolated from soil beforehand, was identified as Bacillus subtilis. Then the bacterial biomass was immobilized in agar and polyacrylamide gel. The immobilized particles packed in a column were used to remove Cu2+. The effects of the immobilization method, bed-length, flow rate and initial metal concentration on performance of the Cu2+ removal by the fixed bed columns were systematically investigated. The highest Cu2+ uptake efficiency 58.0% (Yi) was obtained by Bacillus subtilis immobilized on agar, 10cm bed length, 180ml h-1 flow rate and 100mg l-1 initial Cu2+ concentration. This research showed that Bacillus subtilis had a potential to be used in removal of Cu2+ from waste waters. Freundlich constants were determined from the Freundlich adsorption isotherms.

Keywords: Immobilized cells; biosorption; waste water; copper removal; Bacillus subtilis

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : silhan@ogu.edu.tr