New study has found that Chlorella vulgaris has the ability to eliminate the radioactive element Strontium (Sr) through photosynthetic process.
The study was conducted by a research team led by Dr. Lee Seung-yeop from Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Jung Kwang-hwan, Professor of the Department of Life Science at Sogang University and Lee Seung-yop, Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering at Sogang University.
The research team found that when microalgae like Chlorella vulgaris photosynthesize, they facilitate the combination of CO32- and Sr2+ in the water to generate a large amount of SrCO3. They also found that the radioactivity of Sr decreases by more than 90% when turned into a carbonate mineral, thus proving that the microalgae is effective in removing radioactive Sr.
Thus, the new technique using microalgae is expected to make it possible to treat contaminated water in a more affordable and eco-friendly manner.