Remediation of Heavy Metals in Polluted Water by Immobilized Algae: Current Applications and Future Perspectives

Zhonghao Chen, Ahmed I. Osman*, David W. Rooney, Wen Da Oh, Pow Seng Yap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The progression of urban industrialization releases large quantities of heavy metals into water, resulting in the severe heavy metal contamination of the aquatic environment. Traditional methods for removing heavy metals from wastewater generally have varying removal efficiencies, whereas algae adsorption technology is a cost-effective and sustainable bioremediation technique. A green technology that immobilizes algae through a carrier to improve biosorbent’s stability and adsorption performance is immobilization technology. The purpose of this review is to study the optimization strategy of the immobilization of algae for the bioremediation of heavy metals and to comprehensively analyze immobilized algae technology in terms of sustainability. The analysis of the mechanism of heavy metal removal by immobilized algae and the parameters affecting the efficiency of the biosorbent, as well as the approach based on life cycle assessment and economic analysis, allowed the identification of the optimization of the adsorption performance of immobilized algae. This provides a theoretical basis for the practical application of algal bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5128
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • biosorption
  • heavy metals
  • immobilized algae
  • life cycle assessment
  • water remediation


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