Algae, biochar and bacteria for acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation: A review

Tianhao Du, Anna Bogush, Ondřej Mašek, Saul Purton, Luiza C. Campos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a global issue and causes harmful environmental impacts. AMD has high acidity and contains a high concentration of heavy metals and metalloids, making it toxic to plants, animals, and humans. Traditional treatments for AMD have been widely used for a long time. Nevertheless, some limitations, such as low efficacy and secondary contamination, have led them to be replaced by other methods such as bio-based AMD treatments. This study reviewed three bio-based treatment methods using algae, biochar, and bacteria that can be used separately and potentially in combination for effective and sustainable AMD treatment to identify the removal mechanisms and essential parameters affecting AMD treatment. All bio-based methods, when applied as a single process and in combination (e.g. algae-biochar and algae-bacteria), were identified as effective treatments for AMD. Also, all these bio-based methods were found to be affected by some parameters (e.g. pH, temperature, biomass concentration and initial metal concentration) when removing heavy metals from AMD. However, we did not identify any research focusing on the combination of algae-biochar-bacteria as a consortium for AMD treatment. Therefore, due to the excellent performance in AMD treatment of algae, biochar and bacteria and the potential synergism among them, this review provides new insight and discusses the feasibility of a combination of algae-biochar-bacteria for AMD treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135284
Number of pages18
Early online date9 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License under the CC BY license (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited..


  • Acid mine drainage
  • Bioremediation
  • Heavy metal
  • Sulfate reducing bacteria
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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