Chapter 3

Prospects for Immobilization of Microbial Sorbents on Carbon Nanotubes for Biosorption: Bioremediation of Heavy Metals Polluted Water

E. Fosso-Kankeu1,*, A.F. Mulaba-Bafubiandi2 and A.K. Mishra3

1School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

2Minerals Processing and Technology Research Center, Department of Extraction Metallurgy, School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, South Africa

3UJ Nanomaterials Science Research Group, Department of Chemical Technology, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, South Africa

*Corresponding author: 24838616@nwu.ac.za

Abstract

There is growing consideration to abandon the conventional water treatment methods because of their high cost and environmental impact. Alternative methods investigated nowadays present the advantages of being cheaper and ecofriendly.

Among the biosorbents used for the bioremediation of heavy metal pollution of water are microorganisms, which have an inherent ability to uptake heavy metals from solutions.

In order to render microbial biosorbents suitable for process applications, immobilization on adequate supports is required. Apart from their large specific surface area and hollow structure, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) present a number of features making them attractive for immobilization of microbial sorbents to be used in biosorption processes.

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