Author(s): Wilde EW, Benemann JR
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Abstract Bioremoval, the use of biological systems for the removal of metal ions from polluted waters, has the potential to achieve greater performance at lower cost than conventional wastewater treatment technologies for metal removal. Bioremoval capabilities of microalgae have been extensively studied, and some commercial applications have been initiated. Although microalgae are not unique in their bioremoval capabilities, they offer advantages over other biological materials in some conceptual bioremoval process schemes. Selected microalgae strains, purposefully cultivated and processed for specific bioremoval applications, have the potential to provide significant improvements in dealing with the world-wide problems of metal pollution. In addition to strain selection, significant advances in the technology appear possible by improving biomass containment or immobilization techniques and by developing bioremoval process steps utilizing metabolically active microalgae cultures. The latter approach is especially attractive in applications where extremely low levels of residual metal ions are desired. This review summarizes the current literature, highlighting the potential benefits and problems associated with the development of novel algal-based bioremoval processes for the abatement of heavy metal pollution.
This article was published in Biotechnol Adv
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development