Adsorption of Radioactive Materials by Green Microalgae Dunaliella Salina from Aqueous Solution

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department, School of Paramedical Sciences, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of medical physics, faculty of medicine, Fasa university of medical sciences, Fasa, Iran

3 Department of medical physics, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Introduction: Nuclear accidents release large quantities of radioactive materials into the environment. Iodine-131 and cesium-137 are two radionuclides released during nuclear accident, which can pose the greatest cancer risks. These radionuclides can be moved to other areas through rain and wind. The aim of this study was to develop efficient and economical biological methods for the absorption of water-soluble radionuclides released after a nuclear accident.
Material and Methods: The exposure of the algae to an aqueous solution of I-131 radionuclide was performed for 1, 2, and 3 h. The concentration activities of the samples were 27 μCi/ml and 270 μCi/ml. After the removal of the alga by centrifuging, the activities of the sample solutions were measured using a calibrated dose calibrator. The measured activities at the mentioned periods of time were statistically significant for both groups (P<0.05).
Results: The obtained results of the current study revealed that the activity of radioiodine-131 decreased 1, 2, and 3 h after adding algae, compared to the control group at the same time (21.8, 32.33, 39.84 for 27 μCi/ml and 15.38, 21.53, and 30% for 270 μCi/ml, respectively). Furthermore, radioactive iodine is absorbed very well with this type of algae.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that Dunaliella salina can be used for the decontamination of radioiodine. This method can play a significant role in the decontamination of hazardous radioiodine after nuclear accidents.


Main Subjects


    1. Park, H.K., S.H. Kim, and B.J. Chung, Natural convection of melted core at the bottom of nuclear reactor vessel in a severe accident. International Journal of Energy Research, 2018. 42(1): p. 303-313.
    2. Brumfiel, G. and D. Cyranoski, Fukushima deep in hot water.
    3. Shimura, H., et al., Absorption of radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear accident by a novel algal strain. PLoS One, 2012. 7(9): p. e44200.
    4. Bouville, A., et al., Guidelines for exposure assessment in health risk studies following a nuclear reactor accident. Environmental health perspectives, 2014. 122(1): p. 1.
    5. Sato, A. and Y. Lyamzina, Diversity of Concerns in Recovery after a Nuclear Accident: A Perspective from Fukushima. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018. 15(2): p. 350.
    6. Moysich, K.B., R.J. Menezes, and A.M. Michalek, Chernobyl-related ionising radiation exposure and cancer risk: an epidemiological review. The Lancet Oncology, 2002. 3(5): p. 269-279.
    7. Pohl, P. and W. Schimmack, Adsorption of Radionuclides (134Cs, 85Sr, 226Ra, 241Am) by Extracted Biomasses of Cyanobacteria (Nostoc Carneum, N. Insulare, Oscillatoria Geminata and Spirulina Laxis-Sima) and Phaeophyceae (Laminaria Digitata and L. Japonica; Waste Products from Alginate Production) at Different pH. Journal of applied phycology, 2006. 18(2): p. 135-143.
    8. Moysich KB, M. RJ, and M. AM, Chernobyl-related ionising radiation exposure and cancer risk: an epidemiological review. Lancet Oncology, 2002. 3: p. 269–279.
    9. Murakami, M. and T. Oki, Estimation of thyroid doses and health risks resulting from the intake of radioactive iodine in foods and drinking water by the citizens of Tokyo after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Chemosphere, 2012. 87(11): p. 1355-1360.
    10. Shozugawa, K., N. Nogawa, and M. Matsuo, Deposition of fission and activation products after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. Environmental Pollution, 2012. 163: p. 243-247.
    11. Takai, S., T. Sawaguchi, and S. Takeda, Dose Estimation in Recycling of Decontamination Soil Resulting From The Fukushima NPS Accident For Road Embankments. Health Physics, 2018. 115(4): p. 439-447.
    12. Verger, P., et al., Iodine kinetics and effectiveness of stable iodine prophylaxis after intake of radioactive iodine: a review. Thyroid, 2001. 11(4): p. 353-360.
    13. Imaizumi, M., et al., Radiation dose-response relationships for thyroid nodules and autoimmune thyroid diseases in Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors 55-58 years after radiation exposure. Jama, 2006. 295(9): p. 1011-1022.
    14. Preston, D., et al., Solid cancer incidence in atomic bomb survivors: 1958-1998. Radiation research, 2007. 168(1): p. 1-64.
    15. AV, Y. and N. VB, Chernobyl contamination through time and space. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2009. 1181: p. 5–30.
    16. Wang, J., Y. Han, and Y. Qian, Progress in metal biosorption by microorganisms. Microbiology, 2000. 27(6): p. 449.
    17. Göksungur, Y., S. Üren, and U. Güvenç, Biosorption of cadmium and lead ions by ethanol treated waste baker's yeast biomass. Bioresource Technology, 2005. 96(1): p. 103-109.
    18. J, T., B. M, and Š. M, BIOSORPTION OF HEAVY METALS BY DRY FUNGI BIOMASS. Acta Metallurgica Slovaca, 2006. 12: p. 447 - 451).
    19. Vijayaraghavan, K. and Y.-S. Yun, Bacterial biosorbents and biosorption. Biotechnology Advances, 2008. 26: p. 266–291.
    20. Sato, I., H. Kudo, and S. Tsuda, Removal efficiency of water purifier and adsorbent for iodine, cesium, strontium, barium and zirconium in drinking water. The Journal of toxicological sciences, 2011. 36(6): p. 829-834.
    21. Sheng, P.X., et al., Sorption of lead, copper, cadmium, zinc, and nickel by marine algal biomass: characterization of biosorptive capacity and investigation of mechanisms. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2004. 275.
    22. Zamani, H. and A. Moradshahi, Evaluation of total reducing capacity in three Dunaliella salina (Dunal) Teodoresco isolates. Journal of Applied Phycology, 2014. 26(1): p. 369-376.
    23. Ben-Amotz, A., A. Shaish, and M. Avron, Mode of action of the massively accumulated β-carotene of Dunaliella bardawil in protecting the alga against damage by excess irradiation. Plant Physiology, 1989. 91(3): p. 1040-1043.
    24. Brumfiel, G. and D. Cyranoski, Fukushima deep in hot water. Nature, 2011. 474(7350): p. 135-136.
    25. Brumfiel, G., Fukushima reaches cold shutdown, Nature| From The Blog, 2011.
    26. Wang, J. and C. Chen, Biosorption of heavy metals by< i> Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A review. Biotechnology advances, 2006. 24(5): p. 427-451.
    27. Kaewsarn, P., Biosorption of copper (II) from aqueous solutions by pre-treated biomass of marine algae< i> Padina sp. Chemosphere, 2002. 47(10): p. 1081-1085.
    28. Wang, T., et al., Heavy metal binding and removal by Phormidium. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 1998. 60(5): p. 739-744.
    29. Küpper, F.C., et al., Iodide accumulation provides kelp with an inorganic antioxidant impacting atmospheric chemistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2008. 105(19): p. 6954-6958.
    30. Davis, T.A., B. Volesky, and A. Mucci, A review of the biochemistry of heavy metal biosorption by brown algae. Water research, 2003. 37(18): p. 4311-4330.