Adsorption of microcystin-LR on mesoporous carbons and its potential use in drinking water source

Jeong Ann Park, Sung Mok Jung, In Geol Yi, Jae Woo Choi, Song Bae Kim, Sang Hyup Lee

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is a common toxin derived from cyanobacterial blooms an effective, rapid and non-toxic method needs to be developed for its removal from drinking water treatment plants (DWTP). For an adsorption-based method, mesoporous carbon can be a promising supplemental adsorbent. The effect of mesoporous carbon (MC1, MC2, and MC3) properties and water quality parameters on the adsorption of MC-LR were investigated and the results were analyzed by kinetic, isotherm, thermodynamic, Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO), and intraparticle diffusion models. MC1 was the most appropriate type for the removal of MC-LR with a maximum adsorption capacity of 35,670.49 μg/g. Adsorption of MC-LR is a spontaneous reaction dominated by van der Waals interactions. Pore sizes of 8.5–14 nm enhance the pore diffusion of MC-LR from the surface to the mesopores of MC1. The adsorption capacity was not sensitive to changes in the pH (3.2–8.0) and the existence of organic matter (2–5 mg/L). Furthermore, the final concentration of MC-LR was below the WHO guideline level after a 10-min reaction with 20 mg/L of MC1 in the Nak-Dong River, a drinking water source. The MC-LR adsorption mainly competed with humic substances (500–1000 g/mole); however, they did not have a great effect on adsorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grants funded by the Korea government (MEST) (NRF-2014M3C8A4034282), the Eco-Innovation Environmental Research Laboratory (ERL) project (E416-00020-0606-0) of the Korean Ministry of the Environment (MOE), and the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (2016 University-Institute cooperation program).


  • Adsorption
  • Drinking water source
  • Mesoporous carbon
  • Microcystin-LR
  • Pore diffusion
  • Water quality parameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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