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Dr Adil Bakir

Postdoctoral Researcher, Analytical Chemistry

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Environment)


Following a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology at the Nottingham Trent University, I decided to continue with an MSc in Pollution and Environmental control at the University of Manchester. I pursued my education in water pollution and remediation by joining the Estuarine Research Group (ERG), part of the Eco-Innovation Research Centre (EIRC), at the Waterford Institute of Technology. My PhD, funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was on the “Development of a seaweed-based fixed-bed sorption column for the removal of metals in a waste stream” under the supervision of Dr Eddy Fitzgerald. The project was based on the bioremediation of toxic heavy metals using seaweed biomass and by-products in single and multi-metal systems. The most efficient seaweed materials were then processed to produce cost efficient biosorbents having high metal removal properties. A novel biofiltration unit for direct use in industrial waste streams was developed and optimised for maximum metal uptake capacities. Desorption and recovery of the metals was also possible for their subsequent recycling. Mathematical and software models (COMSOL Multiphysics) were also developed to model metal sorption behaviour for different operating settings.

In 2011, I joined the University of Plymouth as a postdoctoral researcher for a DEFRA funded project led by Professor Richard Thompson and Professor Steve Rowland. The DEFRA project is investigating whether microplastics pose a physical (i.e. ingestion by marine organisms) and/or chemical (i.e. transport of persistent organic pollutants) threat in the marine environment.

Research interests

  • Water pollution
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Bioremediation
  • Sorption/desorption and recovery of metals onto and from seaweed materials
  • Toxicity of metals on freshwater and marine organisms
  • Sorption/desorption of hydrophobic organic pollutants onto and from plastic particles
  • Investigation of different factors influencing sorption/desorption (e.g. competitive sorption, pH, temperature, synergistic/antagonistic effects …)

A. Bakir, S.J. Rowland, R.C. Thompson, Transport of persistent organic pollutants by microplastics in estuarine conditions, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, in press

A. Bakir, S.J. Rowland, R.C. Thompson, Enhanced desorption of persistent organic pollutants from microplastics under simulated physiological conditions, Environ. Pollut. 2013, 185, 16-23

A. Bakir, S.J. Rowland, R.C. Thompson, Competitive sorption of persistent organic pollutants onto microplastics in the marine environment, Mar. Pollut. Bull. 2012, 64 2782-2789

A. Bakir, P. McLoughlin, E. Fitzgerald, Regeneration and reuse of a seaweed based biosorbent in single and multi-metal systems, Clean-Soil, Air, Water 2010, 38(3) 257-262.

A. Bakir, P. McLoughlin, S.A.M. Tofail, E. Fitzgerald, Competitive sorption of antimony with zinc, nickel and aluminium in a seaweed-based fixed-bed sorption column, Clean-Soil, Air, Water 2009, 37(9) 712-719.