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Biological and green remediation of heavy metal contaminated water and soils: A state-of-the-art review
, Abu Reza Md Towfiqul Islam,

Contamination of the natural ecosystem by heavy metals, organic pollutants, and hazardous waste severely impacts on health and survival of humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Diverse chemical and physical treatments are employed in many countries, however, the acceptance of these treatments are usually poor because of taking longer time, high cost, and ineffectiveness in contaminated areas with a very high level of metal contents. Bioremediation is an eco-friendly and efficient method of reclaiming contaminated soils and waters with heavy metals through biological mechanisms using potential microorganisms and plant species. Considering the high efficacy, low cost, and abundant availability of biological materials, particularly bacteria, algae, yeasts, and fungi, either in natural or genetically engineered (GE) form, bioremediation is receiving high attention for heavy metal removal. This report comprehensively reviews and critically discusses the biological and green remediation tactics, contemporary technological advances, and their principal applications either in-situ or ex-situ for the remediation of heavy metal contamination in soil and water. A modified PRISMA review protocol is adapted to critically assess the existing research gaps in heavy metals remediation using green and biological drivers. This study pioneers a schematic illustration of the underlying mechanisms of heavy metal bioremediation. Precisely, it pinpoints the research bottleneck during its real-world application as a low-cost and sustainable technology.

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