An algal biofilm was employed as a novel kind of adsorbing material to remove Zn(II) from simulated wastewater. The algal biofilm system formed by Oedogonium sp. was operated in a dynamic mode for a period of 14 days with an initial Zn(II) concentration of 10 mg/L. The average effluent Zn(II) concentration was 0.247 mg/L and the average removal efficiency reached 97.7%. The effects of Zn(II) on key algal physiological and biochemical indices such as chlorophyll content, nitrate reductase and superoxide dismutase activity, extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), and soluble protein levels were studied. Our results showed that the algal biofilm could adapt to the simulated wastewater containing Zn(II). Scanning electron microscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyses of algal biofilm revealed the presence of carboxyl, amino, and sulphonate groups, which were the main functional groups of EPS and proteins, and these were likely responsible for biosorption of the Zn(II) ions.

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