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Sorption of Humic Acids onto Fungal Surfaces and Its Effect on Heavy Metal Mobility

Urík, Martin, Gardošová, Katarína, Bujdoš, Marek, Matúš, Peter
Water, air, and soil pollution 2014 v.225 no.2 pp. 1839
Aspergillus clavatus, Aspergillus niger, antimony, arsenic, biomass, fungi, heavy metals, humic acids, lead, pH, pellets, sorption, zinc
Mutual sorption interactions between heavy metals, humic acids and fungi were evaluated in this article. While the relative amount of sorbed As(V), Sb(III) and Pb(II) slightly decreased or remained unchanged, the sorption capacity of Zn(II) increased significantly with increasing amounts of immobilized humic acids in the Ca-alginate beads. Therefore, zinc is most likely preferentially sorbed to functional groups provided by humic acids rather than carboxyl or hydroxyl groups of alginate, with an optimum pH for uptake between 4 and 6. Nevertheless, the removal efficiency of metal(loid)s by unmodified Ca-alginate beads or those with humic acids modification was highest for Pb(II), at up to 93.5 %. The pH value also affects humic acids sorption properties on microbial surfaces. While the highest humic acids sorption capacity of mycelial pellets prepared from Aspergillus niger occurred at pH 8.5 (231 mg g⁻¹), the pelletized Aspergillus clavatus biomass was more effective in acidic solution and 199 mg g⁻¹was recorded there at pH 5.5. The effect of mutual interactions between humic acids and mycelial pellets on Zn(II) immobilization indicates that zinc affinity is higher for the fungal surface than for humic acids which do not supply sufficient active sorption sites for zinc. This resulted in less sorption capacity of the mycelial pellets modified with humic acids compared to the unmodified biomass.