Dried Seaweed (Sargassum ilicifolium) as an Adsorbent for Phosphorous Removal from Aqueous Solutions

Aquaculture is a source of significant
amounts of wastes, which generally leads to
deterioration of water quality. Removal of
phosphorous (P) from aquaculture wastewater
is an important environmental challenge.
In the present study, efficacy of dry sea weed
(Sargassum ilicifolium) to remove water P was
investigated under laboratory conditions. Several
levels of medium pH (3.5-10), initial P
concentration (0.015-0.45mgl-1), contact time
(7-60min), particle size (0.5-5mm) and the sea
weed particle concentration (10-40gl-1) have
been monitored. The results showed a high efficiency
of the sea weed to remove water P under
different conditions (83.1-97.7% P removal).
Among the tested pH, 3.5 had the lowest
P removal. P removal linearly increased along
with time progress. The lowest P removal was
observed in the lowest initial P concentration
(0.015mg/l), however, there was no significant
difference among the groups with initial P concentration
of 0.15-0.45 mg/l. P removal in 10g/l
sea weed concentration was significantly lower
than those of 20 and 40g/l. P removal significantly
increased with decrease in sea weed particle
size. Regression analysis showed that the
weight of factors to remove P from the medium
was as follow: particle size (β = -0.659)> particle
concentration (β = 0.427)> time (β = 0.227)>
initial P concentration (β = 0.190)> medium pH
(β = 0.113). In conclusion, dry S. ilicifolium is
capable to efficiently remove P from wastewater
at aquaculture-relevant concentration. The
P removal capability of the seaweed markedly
increases by decrease in particle size and increase
in particle concentration in medium.
Uptake, Phosphorus, Wastewater, Seaweed, Adsorption



Ajjabi C and Chouba L. (2009). Biosorption of Cu2þ and Zn2þ from aqueous solutions by dried marine green macroalga Chaetomorpha linum Leil. Journal of Environmental Management. 90: 3485–3489.

Beveridge MCM. (1996). Cage aquaculture. 2nd edition, Oxford, Fishing News Books.

Beveridge MC, (2008). Cage aquaculture. John Wiley and Sons.

Boyd CE, Tucker CS. (2012). Pond aquaculture water quality management. Springer Science and Business Media.

Brauckmann BM and Volesky B. (1990). Industrial solution amenable to biosorption. Biosorption. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Cho CY, Bureau DP. (1997). Reduction of waste output from salmonid aquaculture through feeds and feeding. Progressive Fish Culturist. 59: 155-160.

Chopin T, Buschmann AH, Troell M, Kautsky N, Neori A, Yarish C. (2011). Integrating seaweeds into marine aquaculture systems: a key toward sustainability. Journal of Phycology. 37: 975–986.

Comeau Y, Brisson J, Réville JP, Forget C., Drizo A. (2001). Phosphorus removal from trout farm effluents by constructed wetlands. Water Science and Technology. 44, 55-60.

Davis, TA, Volesky B, and Mucci A. (2003). A review of the biochemistry of heavy metal biosorption by brown algae. Water Research. 37: 4311–4330.

Duruibe JO, Ogwuegbu MOC, Egwurugwu JN. (2007). Heavy metal pollution and human biotoxic effects. International Journal of Physical Sciences. 2-5: 112-118.

Esposito A, Pagnanelli F, Lodi A, Solisio, C, Veglio F. (2001). Biosorption of heavy metals by Sphaerotilus natans: an equilibrium study at different pH and biomass concentrations. Hydrometallurgy. 60: 129–141.

Esteves AJP, Valdma E, Leite SGF. (2000). Repeated removal of cadmium and zinc from an industrial effluent by waste biomass Sargassum sp. Biotechnology Letters. 22: 499–502.

Feng D and Aldrich C. (2004). Adsorption of Heavy metals by biomaterials derived from the marine alga Ecklonoa maxima. Hydrometallurgy.73: 1-10.

Fosmire GJ. (1990). Zinc Toxicity. American Journal Clinical Nutrition.51 (2): 225- 227.

Hosseini H, Rezaei H, Shahbazi A, Maghsoodlu A. (2017). Application of nano-lignocellulose for removal of nickel ions from aqueous solutions. Environmental Resources Research. 4: 213-229.

Jahan P, Watanabe T, Satoh SH. (2003). Improved carp diets based on plant protein sources reduce environmental phosphorus loading. Fisheries Science. 69: 219- 225.

Jones AB, Preston NP, and Dennison WC. (2001). Integrated treatment of shrimp effluent by sedimentation, oyster filtration and macro alga absorption: a laboratory scale study. Aquaculture. 193: 155–178.

Kang SK, Choo KH, Lim KH. (2003). Use of iron oxide particles as adsorbents to enhance phosphorus removal from secondary wastewater effluent. Separation Science and Technology. 38, 3853-3874.

Lin YF, Jing SR, Lee DY, Wang TW. (2002). Nutrient removal from aquaculture wastewater using a constructed wetlands system. Aquaculture. 209: 169-184.

Martınez M, Sánchez S, Jimenez J, El Yousfi F, Munoz L. (2000). Nitrogen and phosphorus removal from urban wastewater by the microalga Scenedesmus obliquus. Bioresource Technology. 73, 263-272.

Mortula M and Gagnon G. (2007). Alum residuals as a low technology for phosphorus removal from aquaculture processing water.Aquacultural engineering. 36, 233-238.

O'Dell, JW (1993). Determination of phosphorus by semi automated colorimetry. EPA.

Rezaei H. (2016). Biosorption of chromium by using Spirulina sp. Arabian journal of chemistry. 9: 846-853.

Mallekh R; Boujard T; Lagardere JP. (1999). Evaluation of retention and environmental discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus by farmed turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). North American Journal of Aquaculture. 61: 141-145.

Martı´nez-Ara´gon JF, Herna´ndez I, Pe´rez-Llore´ns JL, Va´squez R, Vergara JJ. (2002). Biofiltering efficiency in removal of dissolved nutrients by three species of estuarine macroalgae cultivated with sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) waste waters. Phosphate. Journal of Applied Phycology. 14: 365–374.

Neori A, Ragg NIC, Shpigel M. (1998). The integrated culture of seaweed, abalone, fish and clams in modular intensive land based systems: II. Performance and nitrogen partitioning within an abalone (Haliotis tuberculata) and macroalgae culture system, Aquaculture Engineering. 17: 215–239.

Neori A, Chopin T, Troell M, Buschmann AH, Kraemer GP Halling G. (2004). Integrated aquaculture: rationale, evolution and state of the art emphasizing seaweed biofiltration in modern aquaculture. Aquaculture. 231: 362–91.

Nolan K. (2003). Copper Toxicity Syndrome. Journal of Orthomolog. Psychiatry. 12-4: 270 – 282.

Radojka N. Razmovski and Marina B. Sciban. (2007). Effect of different conditions on Cu (II) and Cr (VI) absorption by dried waste tea fungal biomass. BIBLID. 1450-7188-38: 149-156.

Rezaei H. (2016). Biosorption of chromium by using Spirulina sp. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. 9 (6): 846-853.

Rodehutscord M; Mandel S, Pfeffer E. (1994). Reduced protein content and use of wheat gluten in diets for rainbow trout: effects on water loading N and P. Journal of Applied phycology. 10: 271-273.

Romera E, Gonza´lez F, Ballester A, Bla´zquez ML, Mun˜oz JA. (2007). Comparative study of biosorption of heavy metals using different types of algae. Bioresource Technology. 98: 3344–3353.

Schulz C, Gelbrecht J, Rennert B. (2003). Treatment of rainbow trout farm effluents in constructed wetland with emergent plants and subsurface horizontal water flow. Aquaculture. 217: 207-221.

Strickland JDH and Parsons TR (1972). A manual of sea water analysis. Canada Fisheries Research Board Bulletin. 167: 310.

Tangaromsuk J, Pokethitiyook P, Kruatrachue M, Upatham ES. (2002). Cadmium Biosorption by Sphingomonas paucimobilis Biomass. Bioreseach Technology. 85: 103-105.

Troell M, Halling C, Nilsson A, Buschmann, AH, Kautsky N, Kautsky L. (1997). Integrated marine cultivation of Gracilaria chilensis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) and salmon cages for reduced environment impact and increased economic output. Aquaculture. 156: 45–61.

Tsezos M and Volesky B. (1981). Biosorption of Uranium and Thorium. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 23: 583-604.

Vieira RHSF and Volesky B. (2000). Biosorption: a solution to pollution? IntMicrobi. 3: 17–24.

Vieira RH, Volesky B. (2000). Biosorption: a solution to pollution? International microbiology. 3: 17-24.

Wang J and Chen C. (2006). Biotechnology Advances. 24: 427–451

Young RA (2005). Toxicity Profiles: Toxicity Summary for Cadmium, Risk Assessment Information System, RAIS, University of Tennessee. (

Zhou Y, Yang H, Hu H, Liu Y, Mao Y, Zhou H. (2006). Bioremediation potential of the macroalga Gracilaria lemaneiformis (Rhodophyta) integrated into fed fish culture in coastal waters of north China. Aquaculture. 252: 264–276.

  • There are currently no refbacks.