Degradation of microcystin-LR in water by glow discharge plasma oxidation at the gas-solution interface and its safety evaluation.Water Res. 2012 Dec 01; 46(19):6554-62.WR
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is one of the most commonly found microcystins (MCs) in fresh water and it poses danger to human health due to its potential hepatotoxicity. In the present study, we employed a novel method by using discharge plasma taking place at the gas-solution interface in gas atmosphere to degrade MC-LR in aqueous solution. The initial degradation rate of MC-LR was fastest under acidic conditions (5.41 ± 0.17 × 10(-3) mM min(-1) at pH 3.04) and decreased to 2.22 ± 0.11 × 10(-3) mM min(-1) and 0.912 ± 0.02 × 10(-3) mM min(-1) at pH 4.99 and 7.02, respectively. The effects of total soluble nitrogen (TN), total soluble phosphorus (TP) and natural organic matter (NOM) on the degradation efficiency were studied. The degradation rate was remarkably affected by TP and TN. Mass spectrometry was applied to identify the products of the reactions. Major degradation pathways are proposed according to the results of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) results. It suggests that the degradation of MC-LR is initiated via the attack of hydroxyl radicals on the conjugated carbon double bonds of Adda and on the benzene ring of Adda. Finally, the toxicity of intermediates or end-products from MC-LR degraded by this method was assessed using Caenorhabditis elegans. Our findings demonstrates that discharge plasma oxidation is a promising technology for degradation and removal of MC-LR and it may lead us to a new route to efficient treatment of other cyanotoxins from aqueous solutions.