PMID: 12398407Oct 26, 2002Paper

Removal of tributyltin (TBT) by live and dead microalgal cells

Marine Pollution Bulletin
Nora F Y TamY S Wong


The removal of tributyltin (TBT) from artificial wastewater by dead and live cells of four microalgal species, Chlorella miniata, C. sorokiniana, Scenedesmus dimorphus and S. platydiscus was investigated. Dead cells were generally more efficient in removing TBT during three days exposure. More than 90% and 85% TBT were removed by dead cells of Scenedesmus and Chlorella, respectively. Although the removal percentages of live microalgae were smaller, TBT was continuously absorbed and degraded, and TBT removal percentages similar to respective dead cells were achieved at the end of 14 days treatment. Degradation products, DBT and MBT, were recorded mainly inside the cells, and intracellular MBT concentrations were significantly higher than DBT. In terms of TBT removal, Scenedesmus cells were more effective than Chlorella, probably due to larger cell sizes and biomass. However, TBT specific uptake and degradation by Chlorella was higher than in Scenedesmus. The highest specific TBT uptake values, as well as the highest degradation, were recorded in C. miniata, a Hong Kong isolate.


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