Bioremediation of Toxic Heavy Metals Using Marine Algae Biomass

  • Laura BulgariuEmail author
  • Dumitru Bulgariu
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 38)


Marine algae are generally considered cheap and available materials, which do not compete with agricultural crops for land or water, and are therefore included into category of renewable biological resources. Currently, the marine algae have several industrial uses linked to biofuel production and the extraction of some important active compounds, but these applications are still limited by several technological difficulties. However, the use of marine algae biomass in the biosorption processes for environmental and wastewater remediation has become increasingly important. It is well known that the heavy metal pollution has severe negative consequences for human health and negative impact on the environment. Therefore, the potential use of marine algae to remove the content of toxic heavy metals, mainly from industrial effluents which are the main sources of environmental pollution, through the development of ecological approaches, has gained a worldwide interest. In this chapter, the performances of marine algae biomass as biosorbents for the removal of toxic heavy metals from aqueous media are evaluated, and the main possible practical applications are highlighted. The experimental factors that influence the biosorption capacity of marine algae biomass, as initial solution pH, biosorbent dosage, initial heavy metal concentration, contact time and temperature, are discussed in order to highlight the importance of well-defined experimental conditions for the use of these types of biosorbents. The isotherms and kinetics modelling of the biosorption data was also considered, because the calculated parameters can lead to development of the biosorption systems of toxic heavy metals with high bioremediation potential.


Toxic heavy metals Marine algae Biosorption processes Environment remediation Wastewater treatment 



Financial support for this study was provided by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0500.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Protection Cristofor Simionescu, Department of Environmental Engineering and ManagementTechnical University Gheorghe Asachi of IaşiIaşiRomania
  2. 2.Faculty of Geography and Geology“Al. I. Cuza” University of IasiIaşiRomania
  3. 3.Romanian Academy, Filial of Iasi, Collective of GeographyIaşiRomania

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