Comparative Study of Biosorption of Copper(II) by Lipid Extracted and Non-Extracted Chlorella sorokiniana

Lisa A. Jones, Kimberly L. Ogden, Fei Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Algal biomass is currently being pursued as a source for conversion to jet fuel because of its renewable, biodegradable, and nontoxic fuel properties. To reduce fresh water consumption used in the production of biomass, research has shifted to growing algae on wastewater. Algal biomass grown on wastewater is noncompetitive to feed sources. In this research, the lipid extracted algal biomass of Chlorella sorokiniana is repurposed as a biosorbent to remove copper(II) from wastewater. A comparative recovery study of Cu(II) is presented with whole algal biomass and lipid extracted algae (LEA). The Fourier transform IR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy results demonstrate the binding types of ion exchange electrostatic interaction with various surface sites of carboxyl, hydroxyl, and metal groups. The Cu capture maximum for the whole biomass and LEA is capable of removing similar quantities of Cu(II) with a sorption-desorption life of six cycles. Hence, the LEA is a viable substitute for whole algae as a means to remove Cu from wastewater while preserving the lipid for conversion into biodiesel, jet fuel, or the like. Extrapolation of these results could provide justification for using LEA as a pretreatment for heavy metal removal from wastewater, whether generated from industrial or municipal processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalClean - Soil, Air, Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Algae
  • Biofuels byproduct
  • Heavy metals
  • Sorption-desorption life cycles
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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