Removal of microcystins from a waste stabilisation lagoon: Evaluation of a packed-bed continuous flow TiO2 reactor

Carlos J. Pestana*, Peter Hobson, Peter K.J. Robertson, Linda A. Lawton, Gayle Newcombe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


Photocatalysis has been shown to successfully remove microcystins (MC) in laboratory experiments. Most research to date has been performed under ideal conditions in pure or ultrapure water. In this investigation the efficiency of photocatalysis using titanium dioxide was examined in a complex matrix (waste stabilisation lagoon water). A flow-through photocatalytic reactor was used for the photocatalytic removal of four commonly occurring microcystin analogues (MC-YR, MC-RR, MC-LR, and MC-LA). Up to 51% removal for single MC analogues in waste lagoon water was observed. Similar removal rates were observed when a mixture of all four MC analogues was treated. Although treatment of MC-containing cyanobacterial cells of Microcystis aeruginosa resulted in no decline in cell numbers or viability with the current reactor design and treatment regime, the photocatalytic treatment did improve the overall quality of waste lagoon water. This study demonstrates that despite the presence of natural organic matter the microcystins could be successfully degraded in a complex environmental matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125575
Number of pages8
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2020


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Microcystin
  • Photocatalysis
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Waste water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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