Occurrence, quantification, and adsorptive removal of nodularin in seawater, wastewater and river water

Phodiso Prudence Mashile, Geaneth Pertunia Mashile, Kgokgobi Mogolodi Dimpe, Philiswa N. Nomngongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of potent hepatotoxic cyanotoxins such as nodularin (NOD) in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, seawater and recreational waters presents a major risks to human and environmental health. Human exposure to cyanotoxins could lead to various health effects such as liver damage, jaundice, neurotoxicity and gastroenteritis. Therefore, it is critical to investigate their occurrence in environmental matrices. This study reports the use of tyre-based activated carbon (WTAC) as an adsorbent for preconcentration and removal of nodularin from environmental matrices prior to high performance liquid chromatographic analysis. The preconcentration and adsorption experiments were carried out in presence of other environmental components to consider the external effect on WTAC adsorption of nodularin. Under optimum conditions, the linear dynamic range was 0.05–70 μg L− 1 with a correlation coefficient of 0.9991. The LOD and LOQ (n = 10) in the absence and in the presence of humic acids were 0.012–0.025 μg L− 1 and 0.040–0.083, n = 10), respectively. The repeatability (n = 10) and reproducibility (n = 5) of the method expressed as relative standard deviation (%RSD) were 3.7 and 5.1%, respectively. The maximum adsorption capacity of WTAC was 345 μg g −1. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that the presence of humic acid has an effect on the nodularin adsorption to WTAC. However, high concentrations other coexisting ions such a Cl, NO3 , PO4 3−, HCO3 , SO4 2− had no significant the effect on the adsorption process. The proposed technique was then used for a preconcentration and elimination of NOD trace levels in different water matrices. The results showed that the WTAC was an effective adsorbent for the preconcentration and removal of NOD from the complex matrices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Adsorptive removal
  • Humic acid
  • Nodularin
  • Occurrence
  • Preconcentration
  • Tyre-based activated carbon (WTAC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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