The sorption and removal of heavy metals by algal biomasses
Metal sorption capacity of Chlorella kessleri and two strains of cyanobacteria (Aphanocapsa sp., Anabaena flos-aquae) was studied. It was found that among studied organisms, dead cells of C. kessleri were the most effective sorbents of Pb, Cu, Cd and Zn. They displayed the highest cation-exchange (Cd2+/H+) capacity and bound much more Cd and Zn at pH 7 than at pH 4. The optimum pH for sorption of Pb and Cu was 6. At pH 6, dead cells of C.kessleri could bind maximally about 37 mg Cd, 38 mg Zn, 21 mg Cu and 70 mg Pb per g of dry weight. Generally, algal dead cells (0.3 g dry wt dm^3) removed 50-70% of the metal ions from 0.01 mM solutions. A surplus of calcium and magnesium caused a slight decrease of Pb, Cu, Cd and Zn sorption.
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