• Aspergillus niger;
  • Biosorption;
  • Heavy metal;
  • Response surface methodology


In this study, the biosorption of Cd(II), Ni(II) and Pb(II) on Aspergillus niger in a batch system was investigated, and optimal condition determined by means of central composite design (CCD) under response surface methodology (RSM). Biomass inactivated by heat and pretreated by alkali solution was used in the determination of optimal conditions. The effect of initial solution pH, biomass dose and initial ion concentration on the removal efficiency of metal ions by A. niger was optimized using a design of experiment (DOE) method. Experimental results indicated that the optimal conditions for biosorption were 5.22 g/L, 89.93 mg/L and 6.01 for biomass dose, initial ion concentration and solution pH, respectively. Enhancement of metal biosorption capacity of the dried biomass by pretreatment with sodium hydroxide was observed. Maximal removal efficiencies for Cd(II), Ni(III) and Pb(II) ions of 98, 80 and 99% were achieved, respectively. The biosorption capacity of A. niger biomass obtained for Cd(II), Ni(II) and Pb(II) ions was 2.2, 1.6 and 4.7 mg/g, respectively. According to these observations the fungal biomass of A. niger is a suitable biosorbent for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions. Multiple response optimization was applied to the experimental data to discover the optimal conditions for a set of responses, simultaneously, by using a desirability function.