Remediation of arsenic-contaminated water using agricultural wastes as biosorbents

Muhammad Bilal Shakoor, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Irshad Bibi, Ghulam Murtaza, Anitha Kunhikrishnan, Balaji Seshadri, Muhammad Shahid, Shafaqat Ali, Nanthi S. Bolan, Yong Sik Ok, Muhammad Abid, Fawad Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater reservoirs is a global environmental and health issue given to its toxic and carcinogenic nature. Over 170 million people have been affected by As due to the ingestion of As-contaminated groundwater. Conventional methods such as reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and electrodialysis are commonly used for the remediation of As-contaminated water; however, the high cost and sludge production put limitations on their application to remove As from water. This review critically addresses the use of various agricultural waste materials (e.g., sugarcane bagasse, peels of various fruits, wheat straw) as biosorbents, thereby offering an eco-friendly and low-cost solution for the removal of As from contaminated water supplies. The effect of solution chemistry such as solution pH, cations, anions, organic ligands, and various other factors (e.g., temperature, contact time, sorbent dose) on As biosorption, and safe disposal methods for As-loaded biosorbents to reduce secondary As contamination are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-499
Number of pages33
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 3
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Arsenic removal
  • biosorption
  • drinking water
  • industrial solid waste
  • iron oxides
  • water filter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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