Photoelectrooxidation Effective for Cyanotoxin Degradation

Garcia A, Rodrigues M, Xavier J, Gazulla V, Meneguzzi A, Bernardes AM. Degradation of cyanotoxins (microcystin) in drinking water using photoelectrooxidation. Brazilian Journal of Biology 2015 May;75(2 Suppl):45-9. doi: 10.1590/1519-6984.1413.

The discharge of sewage and industrial effluents containing high concentrations of pollutants in water bodies increases eutrophication. Cyanobacteria, some of the organisms whose growth is promoted by high nutrient concentrations, are resistant and produce several types of toxins, known as cyanotoxins, highly harmful to human beings. Current water treatment systems for the public water supply are not efficient in degradation of toxins. Advanced oxidation processes (AOP) have been tested for the removal of cyanotoxins, and the results have been positive. This study examines the application of photoelectrooxidation in the degradation of cyanotoxins (microcystins). The performance of the oxidative processes involved was evaluated separately: Photocatalysis, Electrolysis and Photoelectrooxidation. Results showed that the electrical current and UV radiation were directly associated with toxin degradation. The PEO system is efficient in removing cyanotoxins, and the reduction rate reached 99%. The final concentration of toxin was less than 1 µg/L of microcystin in the treated solution.

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