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Feasibility of Using Microalgal Biomass Cultured in Domestic Wastewater for the Removal of Chromium Pollutants

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The feasibility of obtaining and using the biomass of a microalga, Chlorella miniata, from domestic wastewater (DW) cultures for the removal of chromium(III) [Cr(III)] and chromium(VI) [Cr(VI)] was compared with that from commercial Bristol medium (BM). Results showed that Chlorella miniata cultured in DW under 16-8 hours light-dark cycle [DW(16-8)] had similar growth to that in BM [BM(16-8)], but these two biomass had different biochemical compositions, and the former one had lower carbohydrate and higher protein content. When cultured in domestic wastewater, a higher biomass was obtained under continuous illumination [DW(24-0)], and the cells had higher carbohydrate and lower protein concentrations than that of DW(16-8). The spectra of the Fourier transform infrared spectrometer revealed that the functional groups on the surface of the three kinds of biomass—DW(16-8), DW(24-0), and BM(16-8)—were comparable, except an additional peak at 1731 cm −1 was found in the biomass cultured in domestic wastewater, which was probably the result of bacterial contamination. Although biochemical differences were found among the three kinds of microalgal biomass, similar biosorption performances to chromium pollutants were recorded, with approximately 75% Cr(III) and 100% Cr(VI) removed at equilibrium in Cr(III) and Cr(VI) experiments, respectively, when dead biomass was used as a biosorbent. Therefore, it is possible to culture Chlorella miniata in domestic wastewater and use the biomass for the removal of chromium pollutants.
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Keywords: Chlorella miniata; Fourier transform infrared spectrometer; biosorption; chromium; domestic wastewater; microalga

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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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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