Insight on water remediation application using magnetic nanomaterials and biosorbents

M.I.A. Abdel Maksoud, Ahmed M. Elgarahy, Charles Farrell, Ala Muhtaseb, David Rooney, Ahmed Ibrahim Osman Ahmed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
592 Downloads (Pure)


Adsorption to date is the most effective and utilized technology globally to remove several pollutants in wastewater. In this approach, many adsorbents have been synthesized, tested and used for the elimination and separation of the contaminants such as radionuclides, heavy metals, dyes and pharmaceutical compounds both at lab and industrial scale. However, there are many challenges to adsorption processes such as reducing the high cost, through means of separation of suspending adsorbents to be used again, as well as the ease to synthesize. Two methods that have shown promising results and gained significant interest is that of magnetic nanomaterials and biosorbents due to their effective, safe, eco-friendly, low cost and low-energy intensive material properties. Magnetic nanomaterials act as efficient adsorbents due to their ease of removal of contaminants from wastewater using an applied magnetic field but also their advantageous surface charge and redox activity characteristics. On the other hand, biosorbents have a synergistic effect with their efficient adsorption capacity to remove contaminants, high abundance and participation in waste minimization, helping alleviate ecological and environmental problems. This review highlights, discusses and reports on the state-of-the-art of these two promising routes to adsorption and provides indications as to what are the optimum materials for utilization and insight into their efficiency, reusability and practicality for the removal of pollutants from wastewater streams. Some of the main material focuses are zero-valent iron, iron oxides, spinel ferrites, natural and waste-based biosorbents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number213096
Pages (from-to)Volume 403, 15 January 2020,
Number of pages33
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Early online date06 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020


  • Zero-valent ironIron oxides
  • Biosorbents
  • Water treatment
  • Magnetic adsorbents
  • Spinel ferrites


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