Adsorption-uptake-metabolism kinetic model on the removal of BDE-47 by a Chlorella isolate

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  • Dan Deng
  • Nora F.Y. Tam


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and toxic organic pollutants, causing hazardous to ecosystems and human health but are difficult to remove from contaminated environments. The mechanism and kinetics of a Chlorella isolate to remove BDE-47 were investigated. This species isolated from the influent of wastewater treatment plants in Hong Kong was PBDE tolerant. More than 80% of BDE-47 was removed in short- and long-term experiments lasting 1 h and 7 days, respectively. The dominant removal process was adsorption on cell surfaces, with 73% of the spiked BDE-47 removed within five minutes of exposure. As the exposure prolonged, the adsorption became saturated. BDE-47 on cell surfaces was then gradually taken up into cells. At the end of the 7-day exposure, 17% of the spiked BDE-47 was within cells, while 27% was metabolized. Four metabolites, including BDE-28, 6-OH- and 5-OH-BDE-47, and 6-MeO-BDE-47, were produced from the debromination, hydroxylation and methoxylation of BDE-47. The removal kinetics of BDE-47 by freshwater microalgae could be explained by the multi-compartmental adsorption-uptake-metabolism model developed in this study.

Research Area(s)

  • Adsorption, Metabolism, Microalgae, PBDEs, Uptake

Citation Format(s)