Original Articles

Bior emediation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Water by Algae

  • 1. The Key Laboratory of Metropolitan Eco- Environment Processes, College of Environmental Resource and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100037, China|
    2. The Key Laboratory of Environmental Resource and GIS of Beijing, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100037| China

Received date: 2006-09-01

  Revised date: 2006-11-01

  Online published: 2007-02-20


Heavy metal pollution in aqueous system is a significant world- wide problem. Heavy metal ions which are present as ions in wastewater are toxic and can be readily absorbed into the human body through the food chain in aquatic ecosystem. The prevention of heavy metal contamination in aquatic environments is often performed by conventional methods. However, these methods have many disadvantages, such as incomplete metal removal, toxic sludge generation and cost inefficiency. Metal uptake by microorganisms has been studied for some years. Researches indicate that algae have the abilities to accumulate trace metals. Based on findings, technologies of bioremediation of heavy metal contaminated water by algae in living and nonliving form have been developed and got more and more attention around worldwide for its costeffective and environmental friendly characteristics. Some of the technologies in heavy metal removal, such as High Rate Algal Ponds and Algal Turf Scrubber, have been justified for some practical application in China and abroad and limitations of these methods in large scale still exist. As an innovative clean- up technology, it mainly depends on the biosorption and bioaccumulation abilities of algae, and the former is dominated in the whole process of bioremediation. Studies suggest that the constituents of algae cell wall such as alginate and fucoidan which have key functional groups are chiefly responsible for biosorption of heavy metal ions. Cell storage and extracellular polysaccharides play important role in heavy metal detoxification of algae. In order to quantification of metal - biomass interactions, several adsorption models are also discussed for algae so that we can evaluate their potential for metal uptake. Although a number of studies using different types of algae have proved that bioremediation is a more effective method for heavy metal removal than the conventional methods. However, there still exist some deficiencies in mechanism and application of bioremediation. So, further investigation is still needed to elucidate the process of bioremediation and optimize the maximum efficiency of removal, which is expected to lead to its large scale exploitation in our country.

Cite this article

JIANG Yongbin, JI Hongbing . Bior emediation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Water by Algae[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2007 , 26(1) : 56 -67 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2007.01.006


[1] 李然, 李嘉, 赵文谦. 水环境中重金属污染研究概述. 四川环境, 1997, 16(1):18~22.

[2] 李永华, 王五一, 杨林生等. 汞的环境生物地球化学研究进展. 地理科学进展, 2004, 23(6): 33~40.

[3] 张剑波, 冯金敏. 离子吸附技术在废水处理中的应用和发展. 环境污染治理技术与设备, 2000, 1(1):46~51.

[4] 赵璇, 吴天宝, 叶裕才. 我国饮用水源的重金属污染及治理技术深化问题. 给水排水, 1998, 24(10) :22~25.

[5] 涂书新, 韦朝阳. 我国生物修复技术的现状与展望. 地理科学进展, 2004, 23(6) :20~32.

[6] Volesky B, Schiewer S. In: Flickinger M C, Drew S W (eds), Encylopedia of bioprocess engineering, Wiley, New York., 1999, 433~453.

[7] Jahan K, Mosto P, Mattson C, Frey E, Derchak. Metal uptake by algae. In: Popov V, Itoh H, Brebbia C A, Kungolos S, Waste Management and the Environment Ⅱ,WIT press. 2004.

[8] Wetzel R G. Limnolgy. 2nd edition Saunders college printing, New York. 1983,767.

[9] 董庆霖, 林碧. 铅对羊角月芽藻的毒性及吸收作用的研究. 辽宁大学学报, 1997, 24(1):89~94.

[10] Parker D L, Hai L C, Mallick N, et al. Effect of cellular metabolism and viability in metal ion accumulation by cultured biomass from a bloom of the cyanobacterium Microcytsis aeruginosa.Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998, 64: 1545~1547.

[11] Mehta S K, Tropathi B N, Gaur J P. Influence of pH, culture age and cations on adsorption and uptake of Ni by Chlorella vulgaris. Kur J Protistol, 2000, 36: 443~450.

[12] Perales - Vela H V, Pena - Castro J M, Canizares - Villanueva R O. Heavy metal detoxification in eukaryotic microalgae. Chemosphere, 2006, 64: 1~10.

[13] Rose P D, Boshoff G A, van Hille R P, et al. An integrated algal sulphate reducing high rateponding process for the treatment of acid mine drainage wastewaters. Biodegradation,1998, 9:247~257.

[14] Adey W H, Luckett C, Smith M. Purification of industrially contaminated groundwaters using controlled ecosystems. Ecol.Eng. 1996, 7:191~212.

[15] Phillips P, Bender J, Simms R, et al. Manganese removal from acid coal- mine drainage by a pond containing green algae and microbial mat. Water Sci. Technol, 1995,31, 161~170.

[16] 李志勇, 李琳, 蔡妙颜等. 利用藻类去除与回收工业废水中的金属. 重庆环境科学, 1997, 19(6):27~32.

[17] Prasher S O, Beaugeard M, Hawari J, et al. Biosorption of heavy metals by red algae (Palmaria palmata). Environ Technol, 2004, 25(10):1097~106.

[18] Lau T C, Ang P O, Wong P K. Development of seaweed biomass as a biosorbent for metal ions. Water sci Technol, 2003, 47(10): 49~54.

[19] Chaisulsant Y. Biosorption of cadmium (Ⅱ) and copper (Ⅱ) by pretreat- biomass of marine alga Gracilaria fisheri. Environ Technol, 2003, 24(2):1505~1508.

[20] Kratochvil D, Volesky B, Demopoulos G. Optimizing Cu removal/recovery in a biosorption column. Wat Res, 1997, 31(9): 2327~2339.

[21] Yoshida N, Ikeda R, Okuno T Identification and characterization of heavy metal - resistant unicellular alga isolated from soil and its potential for phytoremediation.Biores Technol 2006, 97: 1843~1849.

[22] Holan Z R, Volesky B. Biosorption of lead and nickel by biomass of marine algae. Biotechnol Bioeng, 1994, 43: 1001~ 1009

[23] Kumar V V, Kaladharan P. Biosorption of metals from contaminated water using seaweed. Current Science, 2006, 90(9): 1263~1267.

[24] Yu O, Matheickal J T, Yin P, et al. Heavy metal uptake capacities of common marine macro algal biomass. Water Res, 1999, 33: 1534~1537.

[25] Jalali R, Ghafourian H, Asef Y, et al. Removal and recovery of lead using nonliving biomass of marine algae. J Hazard Mater, 2002, 92(3): 253~262.

[26] Ofer H, Yerachmiel A, Shmuel Y. Marine macroalgae as biosorbents for cadmium and mickel in water. Water Environ Res, 2003, 75(3): 246~253.

[27] Herrero R, Cordero B, Lodeiro P, et al. Interactions of cadmium (Ⅲ) and protons with dead biomass of marine algae Fucus sp. Marine Chemistry 2006, 99:106~116.

[28] Leusch A, Volesky B. The influence of film diffusion on cadmium biosorption by marine biomass. J Biotechnology, 1995, 43: 1~10.

[29] Jana K, Edga V, Comparison of differences between copper bioaccumulation and biosorption. Environ Intern, 2005, 31(2): 227~232.

[30] Pirszel J, Pawlik B, Skowronski T. Cation- exchange capacity of algae and cyanobacteria: A parameter of their metal sorption abilities. J Indus Microbiol Biotechnology, 1995, 14:319~322.

[31] Hassen A, Saidi N, Cherif M, etal. Effects of heavy metal On Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus thuringiensis. BioresTechnol, 1998.65(1~2):73~82.

[32] Mohamed Zakaria A. Removal of cadmium and manganese by a non - toxic strain of the freshwater cyanobacterium Gloeothece magna. Wat Res, 2001, 35(18):4405~4409.

[33] Jorge L, Garden T, Dennis W, et al., Effects of chemical modification of algal carbonxyl groups on metal ion binding. Environ Sci Technol. 1990, 24(9): 1372~1378.

[34] Foster P L. Copper exclusion as a mechanism of heavy metal tolerance in a green alga. Nature, 1977, 269: 322~323.

[35] Center R B. Ecotoxicology of inorganic chemical stress on algae. In: Stevenson R J, Bothwell M L, Lowe R L, eds. Algal ecology- freshwater benthic ecosystems. California: Academic Press, 1996: 403~468.

[36] De Philippis H, Vincenzini M. Exocellular polysaccharides from cyanobacteria and possible applications. FEMS Microbiol Rev, 1998, 22: 151~175.

[37] De Philippis R, Sili C, Paperi R, et al. Exopolysaccharide- producting cyanobacteria and their possible exploitation: A review. J Appl Phycol, 2001, 13: 293~299.

[38] Hu S X, Lau K W K, Wu M. Cadmium sequestration in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Sci, 2001, 161: 987~996.

[39] Chen Z, Ren Q, Shi D. et al. Expression of mammalian of metallothionein- Ⅰgene in cyanobacteria to enhance heavy metal resistance. Nar pollut Bull, 1999, 39: 155~158.

[40] Tauji N, Hirayanagi N, Lwabe O, et al. Regulation of phytochelatin synthesis by zine and cadmium in marine green alga, Dunaliella tertiolecta. Phytochemistry, 2003, 62: 453~459.

[41] Schiewer S,Wong MH.Ionic strength effects in biosorption of metals by marine algae. Chemosphere,2000,41(1~2):271~282.

[42] Fourest E, Volesky B. Contribution of sulphonate groups and alginate to heavy metal biosorption by the dry biomass of Sargassum fluitans. Envion Sci Technol, 1996, 30(1): 277~282.

[43] Davis T A, Volesky B, Mucci A. A review of the biochemistry of heavy metal biosorption by brown algae. Water Res, 2003, 37(18): 4311~4330.

[44] Crist D R, Crist R H, Martin J R, Watson J R. Ion exchange systems I proton- metal reaction with algal cell walls. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 1994, 14: 309~314.

[45] Chojnacka K, Chojnackj A, Gorecka H. Biosorption of Cr, Cd and Cu ions by blue- green algae Spirulina sp: kinetics, equilibrium and the mechanism of the process. Chemosphere, 2005, 59: 75~84.

[46] Myklestad S. Ion - exchage properties of brown algae I. Determination of rate mechanism for calcium- hydrogen ion exchange for particles from Laminaria hyperborean and Laminaria digitata. J Appl Chem, 1968, 18: 60~36.

[47] Crist R H. Interaction of metals and protons with algae. Environ Sci Technol, 1992, 26: 496~502.

[48] Kuyucak N, Volesky B. Accumulation of cobalt by marine alga. Biotechnol Bioeng 1989, 33(7): 809~814.

[49] Gardea Torresdey Jorge L. Effect of chemical modification of algae carboxyl groups on metal ion binding. Envion Sci Technol, 1990, 24: 1372~1378.

[50] Haug A. The affinity of some divalent metals to different types of alginates. Acta Chem Scand, 1961, 15: 1794~1795.

[51] Yang J, Volesky B. Cadmium biosorption rate in protonated Sargassum biomass. Environ Sci Technol 1999,33(5):751~757.

[52] Da Costa ACA, De Franca F P. Cadmium uptake by biosorbent seaweeds: sorption isotherms and some process conditions. Envrion Sci Technol, 1996, 31(17): 2373~2379.

[53] Wehrheim B, Wettern M. biosorption of cadmium, copper and lead by isolated mother cell walls and whole cells of Chlorella fusca. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 1994, 41: 725~728.

[54] Gin K Y- H, Tang Y Z, Aziz M A. Derivation and application of a new model for heavy metal biosorption by algae. Wat Res, 2002, 36: 1313~1323.

[55] Jose T, Matheickal and Qiming Yu. Biosorption of lead from aqueous solutions by marine algae Ecklonia radiate, Wat Sci Tech, 1996, 34(9): 1~7.

[56] Hashim M A, Chu K H. Biosorption of cadmium by brown, green, and red seaweeds. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2004, 97: 249~255.

[57] Marques P A S S, Rosa M F, Pinheiro H M. pH effects on the removal of Cu Cd and Pb from aqueous solution by waste brewery biomass. Bioprocess Engineering, 2000, 23:135~141.

[58] Fourest E, Canal C Toux, J- C. Improvement of heavy metal biosorption by micelial dead biomass(Rhizopus arrhizus, Mucor miehei and Penicillium chrysogenun), pH control and cation activation. FEMS Microbiol. Rev, 1994(14): 325~332.

[59] Surasak S , Samuel T, Desh V, et al., Molecular mechanmisms of praline mediated tolerance to toxic heavy metal in transgenic microalgae. Plant Cell, 2002, 14(11): 2837~2847.

[60] 黄廷林, 戴栋超, 王震等. 漂浮植物修复技术净化城市河湖水体实验研究. 地理科学进展, 2006, 25(6):62~67.

[61] Gonzalez L E, Bashan Y, Growth promotion of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris when coimmobilized and cocultured in alginate beads with the plant growth- promoting bacteria Azospirillum brasilense. Appl Environ Microbiol 2000, 6: 1537~ 1541.

[62] Luz E, de - Bashan, Juan - Pablo Hernandez, Taylor Morey, Yoav Bashan. Microalgae growth - promoting bacteria as “helpers”for microalgae: a novel approach for removing ammonium and phosphorus from municipal wastewater. Wat Res, 2004, 38: 466~474.