Removal of Microcystis aeruginosa and microcystin-LR using chitosan (CTS)-modified cellulose fibers and ferric chloride

Mingmeng Liu, Junjie Zhang, Lingling Wang, Haiyang Zhang, Wen Zhang, Xuezhi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The occurrences of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and cyanotoxins such as microcystin-LR (MC-LR) are increasing in water reservoirs and compromise drinking water security. In this study, chitosan (CTS) modified cellulose fibers (CF) were developed as a green adsorbent for the simultaneous removal of a model algae cell, Microcystis aeruginosa, and MC-LR. The results showed that the CTS modification could render amine groups (−NH2) on CF and increased the adsorption affinity toward algae. In the absence of algogenic organic matter (AOM), the algae removal reached 100% at a dosage of 26.7 g-NH2-CF/g-algae (dry weight); however, at the same CF dosage, the presence of AOM (8.13 mg‑carbon·L−1) strongly reduced the adsorption by NH2-CF and removal rate of algae cells reached only 3.2 ± 3.0%. When adding FeCl3 or Fe3+ at a concentration of 11.2 mg-Fe·L−1, the inhibitory effect of AOM was dramatically reduced as indicated by the improved algae removal up to 95% at an NH2-CF dosage of 20.45 g·g−1, because of the reduced energy barrier between NH2-CF and cells. Moreover, when the Fe3+ concentration was increased to 16.8 mg·L−1, 79% of MC-LR was simultaneously removed. Thus, combining Fe3+ with NH2-CF is proven effective to enhance the adsorption and removal of Microcystis aeruginosa and MC-LR and achieve a sustainable mitigation of HABs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122889
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


  • Algae and MC-LR removal
  • Chitosan
  • DLVO
  • Modified cellulose fibers


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