JEP  Vol.7 No.11 , October 2016
Biosorption of Heavy Metal by Algae Biomass in Surface Water
Discharging wastewater containing heavy metals of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd into water bodies can cause toxicity in plants and aquatic animals and some of them will be unable to survive except algae. Wastewater treatment method to remove heavy metal contaminants includes chemical precipitation, ion exchange, membrane, filtration, adsorption using activated carbon. However, these methods are either expensive or have other disadvantages such as high energy consumption and inefficiencies when existing heavy metals are at trace concentration. Biosorption using algae biomass can be an alternative method to eliminate heavy metals. The objective of the project is to investigate the capability of Marine Algae (MA) and Freshwater Algae (FA) bi-omass in adsorbing heavy metals of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd from water medium using synthetic water and industrial water. MA and FA were obtained from the eastern coast of Pulau Ubin and local fish farm respectively. After being fully washed with deionised water, dried in a furnace for 105°C, they are grinded to pass 1 mm2 of siever. MA and FA were characterised using FTIR to determine their functional groups. An industrial water was collected from industrial discharge from metal fac-tories in northern side of Singapore. Effect of adsorption time, adsorbent concentra-tion, and pH were studied. The result showed that FA and MA had a higher capability in adsorbing a total metal of about 40 ppm level from an industrial water, or 4 times than synthetic water concentration, at the same adsorbent dosage of 50 mg. In con-clusion, the presence of various functional groups, hydroxyl, carboxylic and amine groups, in all MA and FA samples had enabled the algae biomass to adsorb heavy metals of Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn from synthetic and industrial water. Due to their bio-sorptive properties and fast adsorption capability, algae could be a potential method for cleaning up surface water or post-treatment of wastewater and minimise the cost of eutrophication.
Cite this paper: Utomo, H. , Tan, K. , Choong, Z. , Yu, J. , Ong, J. and Lim, Z. (2016) Biosorption of Heavy Metal by Algae Biomass in Surface Water. Journal of Environmental Protection, 7, 1547-1560. doi: 10.4236/jep.2016.711128.

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