Efficacy of Gamma-Irradiated Macroporous Microbial Biomat for Lead Removal: A Proposed Application to Aquacultures

Integr Environ Assess Manag. 2020 Jun;16(4):508-516. doi: 10.1002/ieam.4257. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Lead mobilization in aquaculture and its generated health hazards prompted the use of a cheap and reusable method for its removal within a short duration. A 3D macroporous microbial biomat formed of Trichoderma viride immobilized on luffah was used for Pb removal. The biomat was used to remove 79% of initial 400 mg/kg Pb in 24 h that increased to 87% under optimized conditions of pH, temperature, and contact time. In order to reduce the time needed for Pb bioremoval to 1 h, pretreated biomats were used, resulting in an increase in removal from 58% to 96% upon exposure to gamma radiation (0.01 kilogray [kGy]). The irradiated biomat was studied in terms of morphology, elemental analysis of surface biosorbed Pb and surface functional groups using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results show a difference in the adsorption pattern. The biomat was reused efficiently for 3 consecutive cycles and was also used in fixed bed column showing 89% removal for downward flow and in real aquaculture samples. Pretreated microbial biomats are very suitable for use in fixed bed reactors or as a biofilter and can be tested in recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs), thereby contributing to water conservation and aquaculture sustainability. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2020;16:508-516. © 2020 SETAC.

Keywords: Aquaculture; Gamma irradiation; Lead biosorption; Luffah; Trichoderma.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Aquaculture*
  • Biomass
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Lead*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical*
  • Water Purification


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Lead