Immobilized algae-based treatment of herbicide-contaminated groundwater

Sara Mollamohammada, Ashraf Aly Hassan, Mohamed Dahab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Scenedesmus species, immobilized on alginate gel, was found effective in removing nitrate, atrazine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, oxadiazon, and triallate from groundwater in a continuous flow reactor. The laboratory-scale experiments with synthetic groundwater, made of 8.8 mg/L NO3-N and 90 µg/L atrazine, were performed at a hydraulic retention time of 7 days and the temperatures of 20 and 35°C. The highest uptake of nitrate and atrazine was observed at 20°C (97% and 70%, respectively). When tested in actual groundwater, 92% of nitrate, 100% of magnesium, 99.9% of phosphorus, and 92% of zinc were successfully removed at the end of 29 days’ treatment operations. The algal beads removed 100% of oxadiazon and triallate in the first 10 days, but some of the herbicides diffused back into the solution toward the end of the treatment process. Practitioner points: Immobilized algae–alginate beads can remove nitrate, atrazine, oxadiazon, and triallate from groundwater in continuous flow reactor. The uptake rate of nitrate and atrazine is higher in room temperature (20°C). Same algae beads could be reused for herbicide uptake for the average of 10 days. The immobilized system is a natural sustainable alternative that can be used in groundwater pump and treat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Scenedesmus sp.
  • biological treatment
  • groundwater
  • herbicides removal
  • immobilized algae
  • nitrate removal
  • oxadiazon
  • triallate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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