Microalgae-based removal of pollutants from wastewaters: Occurrence, toxicity and circular economy


The natural and anthropogenic sources of water bodies are contaminated with diverse categories of pollutants such as antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, heavy metals, organic compounds, and other industrial chemicals. Depending on the type and the origin of the pollutants, the degree of contamination can be categorized into lower to higher concentrations. Therefore, the removal of hazardous chemicals from the environment is an important aspect. The physical, chemical and biological approaches have been developed and implemented to treat wastewaters. The microbial and algal treatment methods have emerged as a growing field due to their eco-friendly and sustainable approach. Particularly, microalgae emerged as a potential organism for the treatment of contaminated water bodies. The microalgae of the genera Chlorella, Anabaena, Ankistrodesmus, Aphanizomenon, Arthrospira, Botryococcus, Chlamydomonas, Chlorogloeopsis, Dunaliella, Haematococcus, Isochrysis, Nannochloropsis, Porphyridium, Synechococcus, Scenedesmus, and Spirulina reported for the wastewater treatment and biomass production. Microalgae have the potential for adsorption, bioaccumulation, and biodegradation. The microalgal strains can mitigate the hazardous chemicals via their diverse cellular mechanisms. Applications of the microalgae strains were found to be effective for sustainable developments and circular economy due to the production of biomass with the utilization of pollutants.

Authors: Pankaj Bhatt, Geeta Bhandari, Kalpana Bhatt, Halis Simsek
; Full Source: Chemosphere 2022 Jul 5;135576. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.135576.