In Frongoch Mine (UK), it is unclear the distribution of metals on indigenous algae and whether these species of algae can accumulate metals. This study aimed to investigate the role of indigenous algae for metal removal from acid mine drainage and understand if metals can be adsorbed on the surface of algae or/and bioaccumulated in algae. A sequential extraction procedure was applied for algae samples collected from acid mine drainage (AMD) water to identify the forms in which metals are found in algae. Concentrations of Fe, Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd were evaluated in the algae and AMD samples were collected in June and October 2019. AMDs samples had a pH value ranging between 3.5 and 6.9 and high concentrations of Zn (351 mg/L) and Pb (4.22 mg/L) that exceeded the water quality standards (Water Framework Directive, 2015). Algae Ulothrix sp. and Oedogonium sp. were the two main species in the Frongoch AMDs. The concentrations of metals in algae ranged from 0.007 to 51 mg/g, and the bioconcentration factor of metals decreased in the following order: Fe > > Pb > > Cu > Cd > Zn. It was found that Zn, Cu and Cd were adsorbed onto the surface of and bioaccumulated in the algae, while Pb and Fe were mainly bioaccumulated in the algae. Indigenous algae can be considered as a biogeochemical barrier where metals are accumulating and can be used in bioremediation methods. Also, indigenous algae could be used as a bioindicator to assess water pollution at Frongoch Mine and other similar metal mines.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Environmental Science and Pollution Research|
|Early online date||14 Mar 2022|
|Publication status||Published - May 2022|
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FunderThe authors are grateful to Dr Thais Garcia da Sliva (Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil) for providing support in the identification of the algae cells and Dr Utku Solpuker (University College London) for assisting with the ICP analyses and algae digestion. Natural Resources Wales is acknowledged for providing AMD water samples. Ana T. Lombardi is grateful to FAPESP (2019/26571-0) and CNPq (304280/2019-4). The authors are also grateful to Dr Nina M Menichino ( Natural Resources Wales) for providing comments on the manuscript.
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Acid mine drainage
- Green algae
- Metals removal
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis