471 Berkley Ave., ST. LAMBERT (Montreal)
   Quebec - CANADA  J4P 3E7

E-mail: boya.volesky@mcgill.ca
Tel.:    (514) 502.5388

The Future of


Similar to the processes based on carbon adsorption, ion exchange or chromatography, biosorption is based on the sorption operation.  In the process, the desired compound is extracted from a mixed solution onto a solid phase of the sorbent.  The more specific the sorbent is the more effective its application. 

Most often, the process uses a simple column packed with the active sorbent through which flows the solution containing the target compound.  The sorbent inside the column gets gradually saturated with it.  In a separate run of the process, the deposited compound is eventually released from the solid sorbent in a concentrated and grossly purified form.

Just like living creatures, technologies move along their 'growth curve' - eventually to disappear and be replaced by the new ones.
“Bio” represents the contemporary science frontier.  The conventional physico-chemical process era of thermal separations (e.g. distillation) provided the basis for petrochemical boom of the past century.  These technologies have matured and no new breakthrough-based growth can be envisioned in that area.

As bio-compounds are temperature sensitive and usually occur in aqueous solutions, low temperature processing is mandatory in this sector.  Sorption and membrane based processes provide the technological basis for the new era of biochemicals and pharmaceuticals – as well as for more efficient and cost effective  environmental clean-up.

The knowledge and command of sorption/biosorption techniques provide the technological process basis for the whole new bio and environmental industry. 

We have the leading know-how in this area, including exclusive new family of high-performance biosorbents and their analogues.  We are experts in the sorption process and its applications

Biosorption in

ENVIRONMENTAL  applications  

       Toxic or dangerous contaminants have to be removed from the aqueous environment. Activated carbon or ion exchange resins have long been used for this purpose.  Specific biosorbents have been prepared to extract toxic heavy metals (copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, etc.) from solutions.  They do so effectively and at a fraction of the cost.
The demand for the treatment is dictated usually by the government regulatory authorities. 
Environmental clean-up is done when necessary and it is driven by safety/health considerations.
In the biosorption process the metals of value can also be recovered for recycle or re-sale.  As the biosorption operation uses simple and common sorption columns, its applications are not only technically feasible but also economically very attractive.



It is obvious, that biosorption is here not only to remove toxic metals ....
There are other "hi-biotech" applications  -
Biosorption in  

    Some chemical, biochemical compounds command extremely high market price (e.g. pharmaceuticals at thousands of $$ per gram).  Their production often includes complicated and costly recovery-purification procedures.  Specific biosorbents can recover these precious compounds from complex mixtures in a one-step sorption operation - a dream of every engineer.

The demand for bio-products is market / demand driven, their price and availability often dependent on technological processes involved in the recovery/purification – enabling technologies are crucial for the supply.
Sorption operations also provide, in part, the backbone of new generation of “green” and non-polluting technological processes.


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