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Bioresource Technology
Volume 346, 2022, 126665

Utilization of the microalga Scenedesmus quadricauda for hexavalent chromium bioremediation and biodiesel production

Mahboubeh Kafila, Frank Berningera, Eleni Koutrab, Michael Kornarosb

Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bioremediation potential of the microalga Scenedesmus quadricauda in removing hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) from synthetic wastewater, under autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions and different inoculum concentrations. In both cultivation modes, the highest inoculum density of 0.8 g L-1 led to the highest Cr (VI) removal efficiency. In addition, Cr (VI) stress was more severe in 10 ppm compared to 5 ppm, while heavy metal effects were alleviated under heterotrophic conditions. Concurrently, Cr (VI) stress affected biomass quality, resulting in an increase in lipid and carbohydrate production and decreased proteins. Furthermore, under higher Cr (VI) concentration more saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids were produced, while monounsaturated fatty acids content was also greater under heterotrophic conditions. In total, the findings of this study highlight the advantages of heterotrophic cultivation of microalgae for concomitant industrial wastewater treatment and biofuel production.

Keywords: Hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)), Bioremediation, Heterotrophic cultivation, Biomass composition, FAMEs.

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