The state of the art in the field of biosorption using algae as biomass is reviewed. The available data of maximum sorption uptake (qmax) and biomass-metal affinity (b) for Cd2 +, Cu2 +, Ni2 +, Pb2 + and Zn2 + were statistically analyzed using 37 different algae (20 brown algae, 9 red algae and 8 green algae). Metal biosorption research with algae has used mainly brown algae in pursuit of treatments, which improve its sorption uptake. The information available in connection with multimetallic systems is very poor. Values of qmax were close to 1 mmol/g for copper and lead and smaller for the other metals. Metal recovery performance was worse for nickel and zinc, but the number of samples for zinc was very small. All the metals except lead present a similar affinity for brown algae. The difference in the behavior of lead may be due to a different uptake mechanism. Brown algae stand out as very good biosorbents of heavy metals. The best performer for metal biosorption is lead.
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