Insights into conventional and recent technologies for arsenic bioremediation: A systematic review

Sana Irshad, Zuoming Xie, Sajid Mehmood, Asad Nawaz, Allah Ditta, Qaisar Mahmood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) bioremediation has been an economical and sustainable approach, being practiced widely under several As-contaminated environments. Bioremediation of As involves the use of bacteria, fungi, yeast, plants, and genetically modified organisms for detoxification/removal of As from the contaminated site. The understanding of multi-factorial biological components involved in these approaches is complex and more and more efforts are on their way to make As bioremediation economical and efficient. In this regard, we systematically reviewed the recent literature (n=200) from the last two decades regarding As bioremediation potential of conventional and recent technologies including genetically modified plants for phytoremediation and integrated approaches. Also, the responsible mechanisms behind different approaches have been identified. From the literature, it was found that As bioremediation through biosorption, bioaccumulation, phytoextraction, and volatilization involving As-resistant microbes has proved a very successful technology. However, there are various pathways of As tolerance of which the mechanisms have not been fully understood. Recently, phytosuction separation technology has been introduced and needs further exploration. Also, integrated approaches like phytobial, constructed wetlands using As-resistant bacteria with plant growth–promoting activities have not been extensively studied. It is speculated that the integrated bioremediation approaches with practical applicability and reliability would prove most promising for As remediation. Further technological advancements would help explore the identified research gaps in different approaches and lead us toward sustainability and perfection in As bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18870-18892
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number15
Early online date14 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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