The production of large quantities of agro/food wastes from food processing industries and the release of pollutants in the form of heavy metals from various metallurgical industries are the grave problems of the society as well as serious threats to the environment. It is estimated that approximately one–third of all food that is produced goes to waste, meaning thereby that nearly 1.3 billion tonnes of agro/food wastes are generated per year. This readily available and large amount waste can be utilized for the removal of toxic metals obtained from metallurgical industries by converting it into the adsorbents. For example, mango peel showed adsorption capacity of 68.92 mg/g in removing cadmium II ions. Similarly, coconut waste showed a higher adsorption capacity of 285 and 263 mg/g in removing cadmium and lead ion, respectively. Biosorption and bioaccumulation are recommended as novel, efficient, eco-friendly, and less costly alternative technologies over the conventional methods such as ion exchange, chemical precipitation, and membrane filtration, etc. for the removal of toxic metal ions. Because of the presence of metal-binding functional groups, the industrial by-products, agro-wastes and microbial biomass are considered as the potential biosorbents. Thus they can be used for the removal of toxic metal ions. This chapter highlights the available information and methods on utilizing the agro/food waste for the eradication of toxic and heavy metal ions. Furthermore, this chapter also focuses on the sorption mechanisms of different adsorbents as well as their adsorbing capacities.
Part of the book: Emerging Contaminants