Biological methods for wastewater treatment are becoming more accepted all over the world. The method, which makes use of accumulating abilities of living cells, is called bioaccumulation. In contrast with it, biosorption takes advantage of sequestering capabilities of dry or dead cells, which is technologically advantageous. The differences between bioaccumulation and biosorption of copper from model solutions were studied in this work. Application of living algal cells has some disadvantages. Copper significantly damages the surface of living cells, which results in partial loss of cell-binding abilities and release of accumulated copper back into solution. The binding capacity of living cells is significantly lower than that of dead cells. There is also a possibility of desorption and reuse of biomass in case of biosorption. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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