Microalgae are the most abundant microorganisms in aquatic environments, and many possess the ability to remove organic contaminants. The presence of endocrine disruption compounds (EDCs) in many coastal marine systems and their associated risks have elicited great concern, especially in the case of nonylphenol (NP), which is classified as a priority contaminate by the U.S. EPA. In this context, batch experiments were conducted to investigate the intracellular absorption, extracellular adsorption and biodegradation of NP by four species of marine microalgae: Phaeocystis globosa, Nannochloropsis oculata, Dunaliella salina and Platymonas subcordiformis. The results showed a sharp reduction of NP in medium containing the four microalgal species during the first 24 h of incubation, and the four species exhibited the greatest capacity for NP adsorption and absorption within 24 h of culture. However, the amount of NP absorbed and adsorbed by all four microalgae decreased with increasing time in culture, and intracellular absorption was greater than extracellular adsorption. After 120 h of exposure to NP, the four species could biodegrade most of the NP in the medium, with efficiencies ranging from 43.43 to 90.94%. In sum, we found that the four microalgae have high biodegradation percentages and can thus improve the bioremediation of NP-contaminated water.