The prudent disposal of large quantities of agricultural and domestic wastewaters is a major concern in our modern society. Raw wastewaters most often contain significant amounts of bioavailable organic substances such as phenols, endocrine disrupters, and inorganic substances such as ammoniate, nitrate, and phosphate. To remove these substances, algae and microalgae were used.18
For example, inorganic substances such as ammonium,19 phosphorous,18 and arsenate20 compounds and organic substances such as nitro compounds,21 phenols including bisphenol-A,2223 and endocrine-disrupting chemicals24 were removed by using algae or microalgae. The problem of the investigation for removal of hazardous compounds from wastewater is that the removal and degradation abilities are insufficient for practical use. The easiness of harvest of the biomass is also problematic. Future direction of this field is to develop a novel system for remediation: screening of powerful biocatalysts that degrade hazardous compounds rapidly and that can be easily harvested after degradation. The latter is necessary for removal of inorganic substances. Microalgae immobilized in a polymeric matrix or as attached algal communities (biofilm/periphyton) growing in shallow,25 artificial streams or on the surfaces of rotating biological contactors (RBC/biodiscs)26 are expected to be developed.
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