Removal and metabolism of triclosan by three different microalgal species in aquatic environment

Shujuan Wang, Karen Poon, Zongwei CAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Triclosan, an antimicrobial additive widely used in personal care products, has caused the contamination of various aquatic environment. Biodegradation was proved to play a vital role in the treatment of triclosan in wastewater. However, there is limited information about the metabolic pathway. In this study, three common freshwater microalgae including Chlorella pyrenoidosa (C. pyrenoidosa), Desmodesmus sp., and Scenedesmus obliquus (S. obliquus) were applied to remove and biodegrade triclosan in aqueous culture medium. High removal rate up to 99.7% was observed during the treatment of 400 μg L−1 triclosan by the three microalgae for 1 day. The removal of triclosan attributed to cellular uptake by C. pyrenoidosa, and biotransformation by Desmodesmus sp. and S. obliquus. Simultaneously, triclosan metabolites resulted from hydroxylation, reductive dechlorination, or ether bond cleavage and their conjugates produced through glucosylation and/or methylation were detected in the biodegradation samples. Metabolic pathway of triclosan by algae were firstly proposed in this work, shedding light on the environmental fate of triclosan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biodegradation
  • Microalgae
  • Removal
  • Triclosan


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