Adsorption is one of the most efficient methods for remediating industrial recalcitrant wastewater due to its simple design and low investment cost. However, the conventional adsorbents used in adsorption have several limitations, including high cost, low removal rates, secondary waste generation, and low regeneration ability. Hence, the focus of the research has shifted to developing alternative low-cost green adsorbents from renewable resources such as biomass. In this regard, the recent progress in the modification of biomass-derived adsorbents, which are rich in cellulosic content, through a variety of techniques, including chemical, physical, and thermal processes, has been critically reviewed in this paper. In addition, the practical applications of raw and modified biomass-based adsorbents for the treatment of industrial wastewater are discussed extensively. In a nutshell, the adsorption mechanism, particularly for real wastewater, and the effects of various modifications on biomass-based adsorbents have yet to be thoroughly studied, despite the extensive research efforts devoted to their innovation. Therefore, this review provides insight into future research needed in wastewater treatment utilizing biomass-based adsorbents, as well as the possibility of commercializing biomass-based adsorbents into viable products.

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