Removal of heavy metals by polysaccharide: a review

Youngeun Na, Jungun Lee, Song Hee Lee, Pawan Kumar, Jong Hak Kim, Rajkumar Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Industries produce large amounts of heavy metal waste that are hazardous to the environment. Thus, heavy metal ions such as nickel (II), lead (II), copper (II), cadmium (II), and zinc (II), must be removed from wastewater. One commonly employed method is biosorption, which is the adsorption of metal ions by biomaterials such as polysaccharides. In this review, polysaccharides are classified into four groups: polysaccharide homopolymers, polysaccharide blends, copolymers, and polysaccharide composites. Pristine natural polysaccharides like chitin, chitosan, cellulose, starch, and alginate which have multiple functional groups. Additional functionalization is introduced in the form of blending, grafting, or mixing with various nanomaterials having additional functional group to make it more efficient for heavy metal ion adsorption. Introduction of second component onto the main polymer chain not only introduce functionality but enhance mechanical strength which is one of the vital requirements for the recyclability of adsorbent. Longer the time adsorbent is reused more economical is the removal process of metal ions from wastewater. Heavy metal ions undergo various types of interaction like π-π interactions, dipole–dipole interaction, hydrogen bonding or van der walls force with homopolymer, copolymers, blends, or nanocomposite having anions or electron-rich group. Adsorption process is studied by adsorption kinetics and adsorption isotherms. This review represents the adsorption behavior of chitosan, cellulose, starch, alginate, and their derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1770-1790
Number of pages21
JournalPolymer-Plastics Technology and Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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