Adsorption strategy for removal of harmful cyanobacterial species Microcystis aeruginosa using chitosan fiber

Yun Hwan Park, Sok Kim, Ho Seon Kim, Chulhwan Park, Yoon E. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Microcystis aeruginosa is one of the predominant species responsible for cyanobacterial-harmful algal blooms (Cyano-HABs) in water bodies. Cyano-HABs pose a growing number of serious threats to the environment and public health. Therefore, the demand for developing safe and eco-friendly solutions to control Cyano-HABs is increasing. In the present study, the adsorptive strategy using chitosan was applied to remove M. aeruginosa cells fromaqueous phases. Using a simple immobilization process, chitosan could be fabricated as a fiber sorbent (chitosan fiber, CF). By application of CF, almost 89% of cyanobacterial cells were eliminated, as compared to those in the control group. Field emission scanning electron microscopy proved that the M. aeruginosa cells were mainly attached to the surface of the sorbent, which was correlated well with the measurement of the surface area of the fiber. We tested the hypothesis that massive applications of the fabricated CF to control Cyano-HABs might cause environmental damage. However, the manufactured CF displayed negligible toxicity. Moreover, we observed that the release of cyanotoxins and microcystins (MCs), during the removal process using CF, could be efficiently prevented by a firm attachment of the M. aeruginosa cells without cell lysis. Our results suggest the possibility of controlling Cyano-HABs using a fabricated CF as a non-toxic and eco-friendly agent for scaled-up applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4587
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was financially supported by the OJeong Eco-Resilience Institute (OJERI) and BK21 Plus Eco-leader Education Center (ELEC) of the Korea University. The grants provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant No.: 2018R1A6A3A11045442 and 2019R1A2C2087449) supported this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Adsorption
  • Biosorption
  • Chitosan
  • HABs
  • Harmful cyanobacterial blooms
  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • Sorbent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Adsorption strategy for removal of harmful cyanobacterial species Microcystis aeruginosa using chitosan fiber'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this