Biosorption of Mercury by Reed (Phragmites australis) as a Potential Clean Water Technology

Paula Cecilia Soto-Ríos, Marco Antonio León-Romero, Otongtuya Sukhbaatar, Osamu Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metals are causing serious environmental and health problems worldwide, especially in places where mining is one of the major drivers of the country’s economy. Conventional technologies are considered expensive when providing the safe water; for this reason, new clean water technologies are needed. Biosorption has gained attention as a cost-effective system that uses biological materials to remove heavy metals from water; however, it can be noted that an efficient and proven biosorbent for several heavy metal has not been found. Reed (Phragmites australis) has demonstrated to be a potential biosorbent to remove several heavy metals because it is commonly found as heavy metal accumulator in wetlands. This study is focused on mercury (Hg) removal by using reed as biosorbent. Batch experiments were conducted and the microstructure of the biosorbent was analyzed by scanning electron microscope. The Langmuir isotherm and Freundlich isotherm model was applied for the data obtained. The pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models were used to test adsorption kinetics data to investigate the mechanism of biosorption. A comparison with the performance of various adsorbents reported in literature was made. The results contribute to understand the use of Phragmites australis as potential biomass for biosorbent technology since it removed mercury (Hg) effectively in high concentrations. This study supports a variety of researches to achieve clean water technologies, and biosorption has proved to be a useful alternative to the conventional systems for the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number328
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1


  • Biosorption
  • Mercury
  • Reed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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