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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 185071, 21 pages
Review Article

Raw Materials Synthesis from Heavy Metal Industry Effluents with Bioremediation and Phytomining: A Biomimetic Resource Management Approach

1Institute of Microengineering and Nanoelectronics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology, Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10/134, 1040 Vienna, Austria

Received 17 July 2014; Accepted 5 September 2014

Academic Editor: George Z. Kyzas

Copyright © 2015 Salmah B. Karman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heavy metal wastewater poses a threat to human life and causes significant environmental problems. Bioremediation provides a sustainable waste management technique that uses organisms to remove heavy metals from contaminated water through a variety of different processes. Biosorption involves the use of biomass, such as plant extracts and microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae, yeast), and represents a low-cost and environmentally friendly method of bioremediation and resource management. Biosorption-based biosynthesis is proposed as a means of removing heavy metals from wastewaters and soils as it aids the development of heavy metal nanoparticles that may have an application within the technology industry. Phytomining provides a further green method of managing the metal content of wastewater. These approaches represent a viable means of removing toxic chemicals from the effluent produced during the process of manufacturing, and the bioremediation process, furthermore, has the potential to save metal resources from depletion. Biomimetic resource management comprises bioremediation, biosorption, biosynthesis, phytomining, and further methods that provide innovative ways of interpreting waste and pollutants as raw materials for research and industry, inspired by materials, structures, and processes in living nature.