PMID: 10819208May 20, 2000Paper

Performance of different microalgal species in removing nickel and zinc from industrial wastewater

A M Y ChongN F Tam


A series of batch experiments was conducted to compare the ability of 11 microalgal species of the same cell density in removing nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) from synthetic wastewater. These included Chlorella vulgaris (commercially available), Chlorella sorokiniana and Scenedesmus quadricauda (isolates from polluted water of Wuhan, China), and eight different isolates from Hong Kong. The Wuhan isolate of Scenedesmus removed most Ni, probably due to its large biomass. Nickel concentration was reduced from an initial 30 to 0.9 mg/l after 5 min (97% Ni removal), and further declined to 0.4 mg/l after 90 min of treatment. In wastewater containing 30 mg/l Ni and 30 mg/l Zn, more than 98%, Ni and Zn were removed simultaneously at the end of 5 min treatment, indicating that the presence of Zn in wastewater did not affect Ni removal by this Scenedesmus isolate. The second most effective species for Ni removal was an isolate, tentatively identified as Chlorella miniata, Ni concentration was reduced to 10 mg/l after 90 min, and was only slightly interfered by the presence of Zn. In terms of metal removal per unit biomass or unit surface area of algal cells, C. miniata was the best species in removing Ni and Zn. At the other extreme, one Ho...Continue Reading


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