Desorption of heavy metals from metal loaded sorbents and e-wastes: A review

Biotechnol Lett. 2019 Mar;41(3):319-333. doi: 10.1007/s10529-019-02650-0. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


In recent era, with increasing heavy metal pollution, several sorbents are used to remove heavy metals from environment. Application of chemical adsorbents and biosorbents for uptake of heavy metals from soil and waste water is studied thoroughly. Very less attention has been paid to the recovery of heavy metals from sorbents and their reuse. Few researches have been performed to evaluate the recovery of heavy metals from sorbents and regeneration of sorbents for further adsorption processes. This review explains desorption of heavy metals from metal loaded adsorbents and regeneration of adsorbents. Various desorbing eluents and their utilization in desorption of certain metals are compiled along with the techniques and setups followed to achieve better recovery and regeneration rates. The prospect of such eluents in recovery of heavy metals from electronic wastes (e-waste) is scrutinized. This comprehensive study would be advantageous to determine methods and the most suitable desorbents for particular heavy metals for conducting adsorption-desorption cycles.

Keywords: Desorbents; Desorption; Heavy metal; Recovery; Regeneration; e-waste.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Metals, Heavy / isolation & purification*
  • Soil Pollutants / isolation & purification*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / isolation & purification*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical