Industrial wastewater contaminated with toxic heavy metals is a big ecological and environmental problem. Applying biological materials to effectively remove and recover heavy metals from contaminated wastewaters has gained importance as promising alternative to conventional treatment techniques. Thus, the objective of the presented paper is the investigation of the capability of microorganisms, isolated from polluted (metal-laden) soil, to biosorb toxic metals from aqueous solutions. Biosorption process for heavy metal removal was conducted in a new pilot scale horizontal rotating tubular bioreactor (HRTB). This bioreactor provides conditions for microorganism’s growth in a form of suspended cells and biofilm. Biofilm is capable to protect microorganisms from interaction with toxic metals in the surrounding environment. Three metals were selected as model examples: cations of manganese and cobalt and hexavalent chromium (an oxyanion). Optimized bioreactor conditions, namely, medium inflow rate (F) and bioreactor rotation speed (n) for biofilm formation and metal removal were monitored, and under optimized bioreactor conditions, promising results were obtained.
Part of the book: Biological Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery