Microalgal biosorption of heavy metals: A comprehensive bibliometric review

Aristotle T. Ubando, Aaron Don M. Africa, Marla C. Maniquiz-Redillas, Alvin B. Culaba, Wei Hsin Chen, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metals in the effluents released from industrial establishments pose risks to the environment and society. Prevalent organisms such as microalgae in industrial wastes can thrive in this harmful environment. The connection of the metal-binding proteins of the microalgal cell wall to the metal ions of the heavy metals enables microalgae as an ideal medium for biosorption. The current literature lacks the review of various microalgae used as biosorption of heavy metals from industrial effluents. This work aims to comprehensively review the literature on the use of microalgae as a biosorption for heavy metals. The study summarizes the application of different microalgae for heavy metals removal by identifying the various factors affecting the biosorption performance. Approaches to quantifying the heavy metals concentration are outlined. The methods of microalgae to generate biocompounds to enable biosorption of heavy metals are itemized. The study also aims to identify the materials produced by microalgae to facilitate biosorption. The industrial sectors with the potential benefit from the adoption of microalgal biosorption of heavy metals are recognized. Moreover, the current challenges and future perspectives of microalgal biosorption are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123431
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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