Chlorella vulgaris -A Potential Heavy Metal Bioremediator

Renu -, Sunita Dudi, S. Sundaramoorthy


The capacity of the alga Chlorella vulgaris to remove Cadmium, Nickel and Zinc from waste waters and its kinetics were assessed in long-term experiments. Metal concentration was selected on the basis of individual metal tolerance limit of the alga. Results revealed that adsorption was comparatively more than absorption for all three heavy metals. Concentration (x) and adsorption (y) or absorption (y) followed parabolic path for Cd+2 and Ni+2; whereas for Zn+2 the relationship was linear (adsorption) and parabolic (absorption). C.vulgaris exhibits great efficiency to combat Cd+2 ,Ni+2 and Zn+2 stresses with the maximum accumulation factor of 4.2, 2.08 and 2.66, respectively. Metal tolerance efficiency and higher uptake rates make it a significant algal species for bioremediation purpose, more specifically for Cadmium.


Chlorella vulgaris, Bioremediation, Cd+2, Ni+2, Zn+2


Alison.C.;Salsali, H. and McBean E.2014. Heavy metal removal (copper and zinc) in secondary effluents from waste water treatment plants by microalgae. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 2:130-137.

Bayramoğlu, G.; Tuzun, I.; Celik, G.; Yilmaz, M. and Arica, M.Y. 2006. Biosorption of mercury (II), cadmium (II) and lead (II) ions from aqueous system by microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii immobilized in alginate beads. International Journal of Mineral Processing 81: 35-43.

Chary, S.N.; Kamala, C.T. and Samuel Suman Raj, D. 2008. Assessing risk of heavy meals from consuming food grown on sewage irrigated soilsand food chain transfer. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 69: 513- 524.

De-Bashan, L.E. and Bashan, Y. 2010. Immobilized microalgae for removing pollutant: review of practical aspects. Bioresource Technology 101: 611- 627.

Dwivedi, S. 2012. Bioremediation of heavy metal by algae: current and future perspective. Journal of Advanced Laboratory Research in Biology 3: 195-199.

Gadd, G.M. 2000. Bioremediation potential of metal mobilization and immobilization. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 11: 271.

Gomez, K.A. and Gomez, A.A. 1984. Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. John Wiley, New York, 680 pages.

Gong, R.; Sun, Y.; Chen, J.; Liu, H. and Yang, C. 2005. Effect of chemical modification on dye adsorption capacity of peanut hull. Dyes and Pigments 67: 175-181.

Harish.; Sundaramoorthy, S.; Kumar, D. and Vijapurkar, S.G. 2007. A new Chlorophycean nickel hyperaccumulator. Bioresource Technology 99: 3930-3934.

Inthorn, D. 2001. Removal of heavy metal by using microalgae. Microorganisms in Environmental Biotechnology 310:111-169.

Inthorna, D.; Sidtitoona, N.; Silapanuntakula, S. and Incharoen-sakdib, A. 2002. Sorption of mercury, cadmium and lead by microalgae. Science Asia 28: 253-261.

Kumar, M.; Sharma, M.P. and Dwivedi, G. 2013. Algae oil as future energy source in Indian perspective. International Journal of Renewable Energy Research 4: 913-921.

Lloyed, J.R. and Lovley, D.R. 2001. Microbial detoxification of metals and radionuclides. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 12: 253.

Megharaj, M.; Avudainayagam, S. and Naidu, R. 2003. Toxicity of hexavalent chromium and its reduction by bacteria isolated from soil contaminated with tannery waste. Current Microbiology 47:51-54.

Monteiro, C.; Castro, P.L. and Malcata, F.X. 2010. Cadmium removal by two strains of Desmodesmus pleiomorphus cells. Water Air Soil Pollution 208: 17- 27.

O’Connell, D.W.; Birkinshaw, C. and O’Dwyer, T.F. 2008. Heavy metal adsorbents prepared from the modification of cellulose: a review. Bioresource Technology 99: 6709-6724.

Ofer, R.; Yerachmiel, A. and Shmuel, Y. 2003. Marine macroalgae as biosorbents for cadmium and nickel in water. Water Environment Research 75: 246-253.

Ozaki, T.; Kimura, T.; Ohnuki, T.; Yoshida, Z. and Francis, A. 2003. Association mechanisms of Europium(III) and Curium(III) with Chlorella vulgaris. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22: 2800–2805.

Rai, P.K. 2008. Heavy-metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An eco-sustainable approach. International Journal of Phytoremediation 10: 133-160.

Rai, P.K. 2010. Phytoremediation of heavy metals in a tropical impoundment of industrial region. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment165: 529-537.

Rajendran, P.; Muthukrishnan, J. and Gunasekaran, P. 2003. Microbes in heavy metal remediation. International Journal of Experimental Biology 41: 935-944.

Rawat, I.; Kumar, R.R.; Mutanda, T. and Bux, F. 2011. Dual role of microalgae: phycoremediation of domestic wastewater and biomass production for sustainable biofuels production. Applied Energy 88: 3411-3424.

Senturk T. and Yildiz. S. 2016. Adsorbent effect of Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus sp. (Chlorophyta) for the removal of some heavy metals and nutrients.Turkish journal of Biochemistry 41: 87-95.

Shamsuddoha, A.S.M.; Bulbul, A. and Huq, S.M.I. 2006. Accumu-lation of arsenic in green algae and its subsequent transfer to the soil–plant system. Bangladesh Journal of Microbiology 22: 148–151.

Sharma, D. 2010. Bioremediation of Cadmium, Copper, Nickel and Zinc. Ph.D. Thesis. Jai Narain Vyas University Jodhpur, 152 pages.

Snedecor, G.W. and Cochran, W.G. 1967. Statistical Methods. Oxford & IBH Publishing, New Delhi. 593 pages.

Travieso, L.; Cañizares, R.O.; Borja, R.; Benítez, F.; Domínguez, A.R. and Dupeyrón, R.1999. Heavy metal removal by microalgae. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 62:144-151

Tsekova, K.; Todorova, D. and Ganeva, S. 2010. Removal of heavy metals from industrial waste water by free and immobilized cells of Aspergillus niger. Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 64: 447- 451.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.