Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 555–562 | Cite as

Cadmium adsorption by the non-living biomass of microalgae grown in axenic mass culture

  • C. Fehrmann
  • P. Pohl


The freeze-dried (extracted and non-extracted) biomass of 15 microalgal species grown in axenic mass culture and belonging to the Cyanobacteria, Chloro-, Eustigmato-, Phaeo-, Rhodo- and Tribophyceae were investigated for their ability to adsorb cadmium (Cd) ions from aqueous solutions. For comparison, other standard adsorbing materials (activated carbon, silica gel, siliceous earth) were included in the studies. The biomass of 11 microalgae exhibited a higher Cd adsorption than the standard materials. Extraction of the algal biomass increased the Cd adsorption capability of some, but not all microalgae. High Cd adsorption was found inAnabaena lutea, Nodularia harveyana, andNostoc commune (Cyanobacteria),Chlamydomonas sp. (Chlorophyceae),Bumilleriopsis filiformis (Tribophyceae), and inEctocarpus siliculosus, Halopteris scoparia andSpermatochnus paradoxus (Phaeophyceae). The specific surface (m2 cm−3) of the various microalgae was determined by means of laser diffractometry.Anabaena inaequalis andA. lutea (Cyanobacteria) and the Phaeophyceae had especially high Cd adsorption per surface unit. Most of the Cd adsorbed to these various materials could be desorbed subsequently with diluted mineral acid (pH 2).

Key words

cadmium adsorption microalgae cyanobacteria non-living biomass desorption 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Fehrmann
    • 1
  • P. Pohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Kiel, Pharmazeutisches Institut, Abteilung Pharmazeutische BiologieKielGermany

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