Biodesalination using halophytic cyanobacterium Phormidium keutzingianum from brackish to the hypersaline water

Abdul Mannan Zafar, Muhammad Asad Javed, Ashraf Aly Hassan, Endalkachew Sahle-Demessie, Stephen Harmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The biodesalination potential at different levels of salinity of Phormidium keutzingianum (P. keutzingianum) was investigated. A wide range of salinity from brackish to hypersaline water was explored in this study to ensure the adaptability of P. keutzingianum in extreme stress conditions. Brackish to hypersaline salt solutions were tested at selected NaCl concentrations 10, 30, 50, and 70 g.L−1. Chloride, pH, nitrate, and phosphate were the main parameters measured throughout the duration of the experiment. Biomass growth estimation revealed that the studied strain is adaptable to all the salinities inoculated. During the first growth phase (till day 20), chloride ion was removed up to 43.52% and 45.69% in 10 and 30 g.L−1 of salinity, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectrometry analysis performed on P. keutzingianum showed the presence of active functional groups at all salinity levels, which resulted in biosorption leading to the bioaccumulation process. Samples for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis supported with electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis (EDS) showed NaCl on samples already on day 0. This ensures the occurrence of the biosorption process. SEM-EDS results on 10th d showed evidence of additional ions deposited on the outer surface of P. keutzingianum. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and iron were indicated in SEM-EDS analysis proving the occurrence of the biomineralization process. These findings confirmed that P. keutzingianum showed biomass production, biosorption, bioaccumulation, and biomineralization in all salinities; hence, the strain affirms the biodesalination process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136082
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biodesalination
  • Biosorption
  • Phormidium keutzingianum
  • Salinity
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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