Phycoremediation of Persistent Organic Pollutants from Wastewater: Retrospect and Prospects

  • Ashutosh Pandey
  • Manish Pratap Singh
  • Sanjay Kumar
  • Sameer SrivastavaEmail author


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are the most widespread pollutants having toxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity. Countless amounts of POPs are introduced into our environment as an outcome of myriads of anthropogenic activities. Pollution caused by POPs is a severe problem throughout the world. To solve the problem, extensive research efforts have been focused worldwide to implement sustainable technologies for the treatment of POPs present in the environment. There are various chemical and biological remediation methods which are well documented and are in practice for removal of diverse forms of POPs from soil and aquatic system. Microbial remediation process is an economical way to remediate POPs as compared to the chemical process and has been studied well over a period of more than three decades. Recently, interest has gathered in phycoremediation of POPs into harmless organic pollutants, which are adaptive, ubiquitous, and thriving in different ecosystems. The objective of this chapter is to review and discuss the bioremediating and biodegradative competencies of microalgae on persistent organic pollutants, viz., PAHs, PCBs, pesticides, OCPs, phenolics, PHCs, and antibiotics. This chapter will concisely incorporate studies which have examined and scrutinized the oxidation, transformation, and accumulation of these compounds by algal species. A detailed analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in bioremediation and biotransformation of POPs has also been reviewed. the limitations and various approaches to enhance phycoremediation and its perspective are discussed in detail.


Persistent organic pollutant Pycoremediation Algae 





Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis


Benzo[k] fluoranthene


Benzo[a] anthracene


Benzo[b] fluoranthene


Blue-green algae


Benzo[g,h,i] erylene


Bisphenol A




Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Endocrine disruptors


17-α- Ethinylestradiol


Fluorescent in situ hybridization




Harmful algal bloom


High molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon


Length Heterogeneity Polymerase Chain Reaction


Low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon


Long tandemly repeated repetitive






Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon


Polychlorinated biphenyls


Polymerase chain reaction


Petroleum hydrocarbon






Persistent organic pollutants


Photosystem I, II




Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA


Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism


Ribonucleic acid


Single-strand conformation polymorphism


Short tandemly repeated repetitive



Authors (A.P. and M.P.S.) would like to give their sincere thanks to Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), New Delhi (India), for the financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashutosh Pandey
    • 1
  • Manish Pratap Singh
    • 1
  • Sanjay Kumar
    • 2
  • Sameer Srivastava
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyMotilal Nehru National Institute of Technology AllahabadPrayagrajIndia
  2. 2.School of Biochemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) VaranasiVaranasiIndia

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