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Removal of zinc and manganese from contaminated water with cyanobacteria mats

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Cyanobacteria mats, developed for metal tolerance, were allowed to grow in columns packed with glass wool. Resulting columns contained complex, self-organized ecosystems dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). This immobilized cell system was assessed for its potential in removing zinc and manganese (mixed solution) from contaminated water. Twelve applications (days 2 to 13 of the experiment) of 0.3-L/day volumes containing 14 mg/L of each metal resulted in average removals of 96% zinc and 85% manganese with a 3-hour retention time. Final zinc and manganese concentrations in the mat (mg/g) were 10.13 and 10.30, respectively. Unique ecosystem conditions suggest that metal removal likely involved heterogenous chemical zones that resulted in the simultaneous deposition of zinc and manganese as stable, nontoxic precipitates.

Keywords: bioaccumulation; bioremediation; cyanobacteria; manganese; zinc

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1994

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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