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Removal of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins from lake water by composites of bentonite with micelles of the cation octadecyltrimethyl ammonium (ODTMA)


Cyanobacteria and their toxins present potential hazard to consumers of water from lakes, reservoirs and rivers, thus their removal via water treatment is essential. The capacity of nano-composites of Octadecyltrimethyl-ammonium (ODTMA) complexed with clay to remove cyanobacterial and their toxins from laboratory cultures and from lake water, was evaluated. Column filters packed with micelles of ODTMA complexed with bentonite and granulated were shown to significantly reduce the number of cyanobacteria cells or filaments and their corresponding toxins from laboratory cultures. Fluorescence measurements demonstrated that cyanobacteria cells lost their metabolic activity (photosynthesis) upon exposure to the micelle (ODTMA)–bentonite complex, or ODTMA monomers. The complex efficiently removed cyanobacteria toxins with an exceptional high removal rate of microcystins. The effectiveness of the complex in elimination of cyanobacteria was further demonstrated with lake water containing cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton species. These results and model calculations suggest that filters packed with granulated composites can secure the safety of drinking water in case of a temporary bloom event of toxic cyanobacteria. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd