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Removal of toxic metals from aqueous solutions by fungal biomass of Agaricus macrosporus

Melgar, M.J., Alonso, J., Garcia, M.A.
The Science of the total environment 2007 v.385 no.1-3 pp. 12-19
water pollution, heavy metals, aqueous solutions, Agaricus, biomass, water treatment, bioremediation, toxic substances, zinc, copper, mercury, cadmium, lead, sorption, acids, potassium, phosphorus, pH, uptake mechanisms
Fungi such as Agaricus macrosporus show potential for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions contaminated by zinc, copper, mercury, cadmium or lead. This study investigated biosorption of these metals by living or non-living biomass of A. macrosporus from an acid solution, an acid solution supplemented with potassium and phosphorus, and an alkaline solution. Uptake showed a pH-dependent profile. Maximum percentage uptake of all metals was found to occur at alkaline pH (Cu 96%, Pb 89%). With living biomass, metal biosorption was greater and faster in K/P-supplemented acid medium than in non-supplemented acid medium, with equilibrium reached within 15 min for all metals, and the highest percentage uptake being of cadmium (96%). In general, the greatest differences in biosorption capacity were seen for living biomass, between supplemented and non-supplemented acid medium; the smallest differences were between living and dead biomass in alkaline medium. These results support the potential utility of A. macrosporus for heavy metal removal.