Use of shrimp shell for adsorption of metals present in surface runoff

Water Sci Technol. 2019 Jun;79(12):2221-2230. doi: 10.2166/wst.2019.213.


This research analyzes the use of natural shrimp shell and commercial chitin for biosorption of metal ions in surface runoff. Investigation of the use of these biosorbent materials in drainage systems becomes a management measure for two extremely important issues in Brazil, fish waste management and the surface runoff quality. Methodological procedures involved treatments with different amounts of unprocessed shrimp shell and commercial chitin (5g and 10g) for 200mL of a compensatory drainage mechanism (infiltration swale). The contact time of biosorbent and runoff was 24h and removal of metal ions Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Cr was studied. Tests with unprocessed shrimp shell showed high concentrations of metallic ions (Pb, Ni, and Cu) causing contamination of the environment. However, the two biosorbents presented good removal of specific metallic ions (Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cr). These results indicate the need for a biosorbent pre-treatment prior to full-scale use. We indicate the need for a more detailed investigation of water quality in the environment used for shrimp farming. Tests with commercial chitin presented satisfactory results for two concentrations tested. Tests with 10g of commercial chitin allowed removal of all tested metal ions (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cr) with removal percentage between 6.7% and 84.4%. This efficiency may be related to the chitin's composition (shrimp, crustaceans, and crab) and to the chemical process applied to the product prior to commercialization.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Ions
  • Metals, Heavy*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical*


  • Ions
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical