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Yeast has been successfully used as an adsorbent for the sequestration of copper. Yeast is a fungus and has a larger size than bacteria and, like other eukaryotic organisms, has a nucleus and associated cytoplasmic organelles. The cytoplasm present in living cells is important for the living cells because it interacts with metal ions and after entering into the cells, the heavy metal ions are separated into compartments for removal (Wang & Chen 2009). Waste beer yeast is a by-product of the brewing industry that is a cheap and promising adsorbent for copper removal from wastewater (Han et al. 2006). These researchers reported a maximum uptake of copper of 1.45 mg/g with a preferred fit to the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms; bisorption was reached in equilibrium in 30 minutes. The sorption capacity of beer yeast was found to be a function of the initial metal ion concentration, the adsorbent dose, pH, contact time and the amount of salts added and the process best fits the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models (Han et al. 2006). Table 21 summarises the parameters for the sequestration of copper using yeast.

Table 21

Copper removal using yeast biomass as an adsorbent

AdsorbentInitial metal concentration (mg/L)pHBest model fitContact time (min)Adsorbent dose (g/L)Adsorption capacity (mg/g)Removal per centReferences
Caustic-treated Succharomyces cerevisiae yeast biomass 16–18 Freundlich, Langmuir 2,160 2.0 9.01 – Lu & Wilkins (1996)  
Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass 25–200 3–4 Freundlich, Langmuir, Redlich–Peterson – 15 2.59 43.08% Cojocaru et al. (2009)  
Baker's yeast 100 2.7–6 Langmuir 250 65 – Yu et al. (2008)  
AdsorbentInitial metal concentration (mg/L)pHBest model fitContact time (min)Adsorbent dose (g/L)Adsorption capacity (mg/g)Removal per centReferences
Caustic-treated Succharomyces cerevisiae yeast biomass 16–18 Freundlich, Langmuir 2,160 2.0 9.01 – Lu & Wilkins (1996)  
Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass 25–200 3–4 Freundlich, Langmuir, Redlich–Peterson – 15 2.59 43.08% Cojocaru et al. (2009)  
Baker's yeast 100 2.7–6 Langmuir 250 65 – Yu et al. (2008)  

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