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Removal of K+, Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ from saline-alkaline water using the microalga Scenedesmus obliquus

  • Yao, Zongli1, 2
  • Ying, Chengqi1
  • Lu, Jianxue1
  • Lai, Qifang1
  • Zhou, Kai1
  • Wang, Hui1
  • Chen, Ling2
  • 1 Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Research Center for Saline Fisheries Technology, Shanghai, 200090, China , Shanghai (China)
  • 2 Tongji University, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai, 200092, China , Shanghai (China)
Published Article
Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Jul 27, 2013
DOI: 10.1007/s00343-013-2116-0
Springer Nature


The capability of Scenedesmus obliquus to remove cations (K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+) from saline-alkaline water was investigated at different salinities (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25) and carbonate alkalinities (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 mmol/L). K+, Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in saline-alkaline water were efficiently removed by S. obliquus. The maximum removal of the cations (29.37 mg for K+, 185.85 mg for Na+, 23.07 mg for Ca2+, 66.14 mg for Mg2+) occurred at salinity 25. The maximum removal of K+ (2.28 mg), Na+ (6.62 mg), Ca2+ (1.01 mg), and Mg2+ (0.62 mg) occurred at carbonate alkalinities of 25 mmol/L for K+, 35 mmol/L for Na+, 20 mmol/L for Ca2+, and 25 mmol/L for Mg2+, respectively. Under a salinity stress, the concentration of Na+ in S. obliquus increased significantly, while that of K+ decreased significantly. The concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ decreased as well. The ratios of K+/Na+, Ca2+/Na+, and Mg2+/Na+ were significantly lower in all salinity treatments than those of the control. Under alkaline stress, the concentrations of Na+ and K+ in S. obliquus decreased significantly and the ratios of K+/Na+, Ca2+/Na+, and Mg2+/Na+ were significantly higher in all treatments than in the control. Moreover, the concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ in S. obliquus at alkalinities of 5–10 mmol/L were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. The removal of Na+ by S. obliquus mainly occurs through biosorption, and Mg2+ and Ca2+ were removed through both biosorption and bioaccumulation.

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