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Isotherm and kinetic models and cell surface analysis for determination of the mechanism of metal sorption by Aspergillus versicolor

Gazem, Mufedah A. H., Nazareth, Sarita
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2012 v.28 no.7 pp. 2521-2530
Aspergillus versicolor, adsorption, biosorption, estuaries, fatty acids, fungi, ion exchange, metal tolerance, metals, models, mycelium, pH, reaction kinetics, scanning electron microscopy
The isolate Aspergillus versicolor was obtained from an estuary, which is exposed to metal contamination. It was found to have a good metal tolerance and sorption capacity. Further studies revealed that the rate of metal removal from solution is very rapid in the first 5–10 min, and is favoured by a pH of 6.0. The biosorption data obtained was explained by the Freundlich adsorption isotherm model and followed a pseudo-second order kinetics reaction. The fungus showed a higher accumulation of fatty acids when grown in presence of metals as compared to the mycelium grown in absence of the metal; there was also an increase in the saturation index of fatty acids in presence of Cu2+ which serves as a protective mechanism for the fungus. Fourier Transform Infrared, scanning electron microscopy and EDAX analysis indicated that metal removal from solution by A. versicolor occurred by a passive adsorption to the fungal cell surface, involving an ion exchange mechanism.