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Removal of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Ni and Pb) using fresh water algae (Utricularia tenuissima, Utricularia tenuis & Zygogonium ericetorum) from contaminated water

Arbab Ali, Zahir Shah, Altaf Hussain, Izhar Shafi, Nasrullah, Murtaza Ali, Aqleem Abbas

Department of Soil and Environmental Science, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar Pakistan

Department of Plant Pathology, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar Pakistan

Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar Pakistan

Key words: Contaminated water, Heavy metals, Ulothrix tenuissima, Oscillatoria tenuis, Zygogonium ericetorum.


Nrborderborderentrythreecolorsmay05-1-A study was conducted to check the efficiency of different fresh water algae for removing heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Ni and Pb) from contaminated water. The three most abundant indigenous algal species namely Ulothrix tenuissima, Oscillatoria tenuis and Zygogonium ericetorum were collected from fresh water channels of Parachinar, Pakistan and brought to the laboratory of Soil and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Agriculture, Peshawar Pakistan for proper identification. To check the efficiency for removing heavy metals artificial contaminated water was prepared and was inoculated with mix culture of above mentioned algae and incubated for 10 days. After incubation algal species were removed from water through centrifugation and was dried, digested and analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that the concentration of all heavy metals was substantially reduced in the algal inoculated contaminated water. The analysis of algal biomass showed that considerable amount of metals and other elements were recovered in algae. Among the tested algal species, Zygogonium ericetorum showed maximum removal Ni(99.40ug) and Cr(66.84ug) from contaminated water followed by Oscillatoria tenuis with 84ug(Ni) and 64.83ug(Cr) respectively. However Oscillatoria tenuis showed maximum removal of Cd(41.00ug) than the other algal species. Similarly Zygogonium ericetorum showed maximum removal of Pb (451ug) followed by Ulothrix tenuissima where 441ug was recorded. Highest amount Cd, and Ni were recovered in Zygogonium ericetorum biomass while highest amount of Cr and Pb were recorded in the biomass of Oscillatoria tenuis. Finally it could be concluded that algae have efficiently removed heavy metals from contaminated water. Further research is needed to test other algal species for removal of heavy metal and other elements from the contaminated water.

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