Algal Degradation of Organic Pollutants

  • Mourad BaghourEmail author
Reference work entry


The removal or degradation of organic pollutants by the algae or “phycoremediation” is a promising bioremediation technology for decontaminating polluted sites. Phycoremediation is a sustainable and environmentally eco-friendly approach for cleaning up polluted areas. Algal degradation of organic pollutants is a natural process which ensures a lower environmental impact compared with mechanical, physical, and chemical removal approaches of organic pollutants. The advantages of algae-based bioremediation are greater production biomass and high ability to accumulate, detoxify, or degrade xenobiotics and pollutants. In addition, the biomass produced in bioremediation could be economically valorized in the form of bioenergy. A large number of enzymes from algae have been found to be involved in the biodegradation of many organic pollutants. On the other hand, biosurfactant-producing microalgae may play an important role in the accelerated bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated sites. The use of higher plants and bacteria for bioextraction and biodegradation of organic pollutants has been extensively studied. However, the application of macro- and microalgae in absorption and degradation of organic pollutants in aquatic environment has just started. In this chapter, we will discuss the ability of algae to accumulate organic pollutants and the role of different enzymes in degradation processes.


Algae Biodegradation Environment Enzymes Organic pollutants 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Observatoire de la Lagune de Marchica de Nador et Région Limitrophes (OLMANRL)Faculté Pluridisciplinaire de Nador, Université Mohammed INadorMorocco

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