The application of microalgae in removing organic micropollutants in wastewater

Hoang Tam Nguyen, Yeomin Yoon, Huu Hao Ngo, Am Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Micropollutants have become a serious environmental problem with several negative outcomes for human health and ecosystems. Many efforts have been made to remove micropollutants using a variety of physical, chemical and biological methods. By far, the most attention has been paid to microalgae-based technologies for wastewater treatment in order to obtain high-quality effluents, recover algal biomass for fertilizers, protein-rich feed, biofuel, and put them to other practical use. This paper reviews the potential of microalgae-based systems for the removal of organic micropollutants from open ponds to closed photobioreactors coupled by suspended microalgal cells, immobilized cells, or microalgae-microbial consortia. The inhibition of micropollutants on microalgae growth as well as micropollutant removal mechanisms performed by microalgae-based systems are also discussed. Other treatment methods for the removal of micropollutants are analyzed to show the advantages and limitations of microalgae-based treatment strategies, from which some possible combined systems can be suggested. Finally, some recommendations for future studies on this topic are proposed. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1220
Number of pages34
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2021

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  • Microalgae
  • micropollutants
  • photobioreactor


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