Heavy metal biosorption by plant biomass of the macrophyte Ludwigia stolonifera

Hila Elifantz, Elisha Tel-Or

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Ludwigia stolonifera biomass of roots, floating roots and leaves were tested for their performance as heavy metal biofilters. Cadmium (Cd) and nickel (Ni) (50 ppm) solutions were filtered through 0.5-1.5 g packed columns with each biomaterial, to determine their metal removal efficiency. Root column was more efficient in removing Ni (as low as 6 ppb in the effluent) than of Cd (as low as to 22 ppb in the effluent). This tendency was also observed upon treatment of a mixed solution of both metals. Floating roots column reduced Cd content to the same level as the root column, but its metal binding capacity was higher; 93 mg Cd g-1 DW in floating roots in comparison to 43 mg Cd g-1 DW in the roots biofilter. Leaf biomass column demonstrated the best metal binding capacity; 128 mg Cd g-1 DW, and Cd concentration in the effluent was 17 ppb. Pectin content was 5, 8 and 10% W/W in roots, leaves and floating roots biofilters, respectively. It seems that ion exchange is the major mechanism by which the metal is biosorbed. Evidence for the exchange of the bound heavy metal ions against the discharge of light metal ions such as calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) and sodium (Na) was provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilter
  • Biosorption
  • Cadmium
  • Ludwigia stolonifera
  • Metal binding capacity
  • Nickel
  • Pectin


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