, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 742–748 | Cite as

Cr(III) removal by a microalgal isolate, Chlorella miniata: effects of nitrate, chloride and sulfate

  • Xu Han
  • Yu-Feng Gong
  • Yuk-Shan Wong
  • Nora Fung Yee Tam


In the present study, nitrate, chloride and sulfate anion systems were used to investigate the presence of anions on the removal of Cr(III) by Chlorella miniata. Kinetic studies suggested that the equilibrium time of Cr(III) biosorption was not affected by the presence of different sodium salts, even at the concentration of 1.0 M, and all reached equilibrium after 24 h. Equilibrium experiments showed that the effects of different anions on Cr(III) biosorption varied, and the inhibitory order was SO4 2− > Cl > NO3 . Langmuir isotherm indicated that the maximum sorption capacity of C. miniata increased with the increase of pH under different anion systems. The strongest inhibition effect of the sulfate system was attributed to the formation of Cr(OH)SO4 aq. and the decrease of Cr(OH)2+ and Cr3+ in solution, while the difference of inhibitory effect in the other two anion systems could be accounted by the formation of the inner-sphere surface complex in the nitrate system and the outer-sphere surface complex in the chloride system. The present study suggested that the presence of anions greatly affected the removal of Cr(III) on C. miniata and thereby their transport in the environment.


Microalgae Biosorption Chromium Langmuir Anion Speciation 



The research work was supported by the Areas of Excellence Scheme established under the University Grants Committee of the HKSAR (Project No. AoE/P-04/2004). The financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (XH, Nos. 41003040 and 41373114), and from Open Funding Project of the Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering, Ministry of Education were also acknowledged.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xu Han
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yu-Feng Gong
    • 2
  • Yuk-Shan Wong
    • 4
  • Nora Fung Yee Tam
    • 5
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hollow Fiber Membrane Materials and ProcessesTianjin Polytechnic UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Chemical EngineeringTianjin Polytechnic UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering, Ministry of EducationTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of BiologyHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong, China
  5. 5.Department of Biology and ChemistryCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong, China

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