A review on microalgae-mediated biotechnology for removing pharmaceutical contaminants in aqueous environments: Occurrence, fate, and removal mechanism.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
J Hazard Mater, 2023, 443, (Pt A), pp. 130213
Issue Date:
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Pharmaceutical compounds in aquatic environments have been considered as emerging contaminants due to their potential risks to living organisms. Microalgae-based technology showed the feasibility of removing pharmaceutical contaminants. This review summarizes the occurrence, classification, possible emission sources, and environmental risk of frequently detected pharmaceutical compounds in aqueous environments. The efficiency, mechanisms, and influencing factors for the removal of pharmaceutical compounds through microalgae-based technology are further discussed. Pharmaceutical compounds frequently detected in aqueous environments include antibiotics, hormones, analgesic and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cardiovascular agents, central nervous system drugs (CNS), antipsychotics, and antidepressants, with a concentration ranging from ng/L to μg/L. Microalgae-based technology majorly remove the pharmaceutical compounds through bioadsorption, bioaccumulation, biodegradation, photodegradation, and co-metabolism. This review identifies the opportunities and challenges for microalgae-based technology and proposed suggestions for future studies to tackle challenges. The findings of this review advance our understanding of the occurrence and fate of pharmaceutical contaminants in aqueous environments, highlighting the potential of microalgae-based technology for pharmaceutical contaminants removal.
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