Effects of Heavy Metals on Biosorption and Biodegradation of Mixed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Free and Immobilized Microalga, Selenastrum Capricornutum

Project: Research

View graph of relations



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) released through all kinds of industrial activities are toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic, and have serious effects on aquatic ecosystems and human health. Microorganisms have been widely deployed to biologically absorb/adsorb and degrade PAHs; however, most studies have been conducted on the removal of a single PAH contaminant by bacteria and fungi, and very few have reported the role of microalgae despite the significance of their application in pollution control. This project aims to explore the capability of a green microalgal species, Selenastrum capricornutum, to remove mixed PAHs by adsorption, absorption, and degradation. The effects of heavy metal ions, another group of pollutants commonly found in contaminated environments, on PAH removal processes will be explored. The PAH-metal interactions in alginate immobilized cells will also be compared with that in free cells. The outcome of the study is expected to help us understand the capability of free and alginate immobilized green microalgae in removing mixed PAHs from contaminated water, and their application in situations where heavy metals are present.


Project number7002316
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0819/10/10