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Biosorption of Heavy Metals Contaminating the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area using Desmodesmus sp.

Authors: P.P. Diale, E. Muzenda, J. Zimba, T.S. Matambo, D. Glasser, D. Hildebrandt


A vast array of biological materials, especially algae have received increasing attention for heavy metal removal. Algae have been proven to be cheaper, more effective for the removal of metallic elements in aqueous solutions. A fresh water algal strain was isolated from Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, South Africa and identified as Desmodesmus sp. This paper investigates the efficacy of Desmodesmus removing heavy metals contaminating the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area (WCA) water bodies. The biosorption data fitted the pseudo-second order and Langmuir isotherm models. The Langmuir maximum uptakes gave the sequence: Mn2+>Ni2+>Fe2+. The best results for kinetic study was obtained in concentration 120 ppm for Fe3+ and Mn2+, whilst for Ni2+ was at 20 ppm, which is about the same concentrations found in contaminated water in the WCA (Fe3+115 ppm, Mn2+ 121 ppm and Ni2+ 26.5 ppm).

Keywords: Remediation, Heavy Metals, green algae, biosorption

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