Keywords: biomass separation, biomass recycling, biomass reuse, biosorption, biosorptive flotation, metal removal, wastewater treatment, water pollution, environmental pollution, heavy metals, metal-loaded microorganisms, metal ions
The application of flotation for the downstream separation of metal-loaded microorganisms
The studied innovative wastewater treatment process involved the initial abstraction of heavy metal ions onto fungal or stalks biomass (biosorption), followed by the application of a typical flotation stage for the efficient downstream separation of metal-laden biosorbent particles. The ability of microorganisms to remove metal ions from dilute aqueous solutions is a well-known property. Flotation originated from the minerals' processing field; however, it has nowadays found application in the wastewater treatment field. The two processes of biosorption and flotation can be efficiently combined, forming the so-called 'biosorptive flotation' process.