Photocatalytic degradation and mineralization of microcystin-LR under UV-A, solar and visible light using nanostructured nitrogen doped TiO2.J Hazard Mater. 2012 Apr 15; 211-212:196-202.JH
In an attempt to face serious environmental hazards, the degradation of microcystin-LR (MC-LR), one of the most common and more toxic water soluble cyanotoxin compounds released by cyanobacteria blooms, was investigated using nitrogen doped TiO(2) (N-TiO(2)) photocatalyst, under UV-A, solar and visible light. Commercial Degussa P25 TiO(2), Kronos and reference TiO(2) nanopowders were used for comparison. It was found that under UV-A irradiation, all photocatalysts were effective in toxin elimination. The higher MC-LR degradation (99%) was observed with Degussa P25 TiO(2) followed by N-TiO(2) with 96% toxin destruction after 20 min of illumination. Under solar light illumination, N-TiO(2) nanocatalyst exhibits similar photocatalytic activity with that of commercially available materials such as Degussa P25 and Kronos TiO(2) for the destruction of MC-LR. Upon irradiation with visible light Degussa P25 practically did not show any response, while the N-TiO(2) displayed remarkable photocatalytic efficiency. In addition, it has been shown that photodegradation products did not present any significant protein phosphatase inhibition activity, proving that toxicity is proportional only to the remaining MC-LR in solution. Finally, total organic carbon (TOC) and inorganic ions (NO(2)(-), NO(3)(-) and NH(4)(+)) determinations confirmed that complete photocatalytic mineralization of MC-LR was achieved under both UV-A and solar light.