‘Floc and Sink’ Technique Removes Cyanobacteria and Microcystins from Tropical Reservoir Water

Renan Silva Arruda* (Corresponding author), Natália Pessoa Noyma, Leonardo de Magalhães, Marcella Coelho Berjante Mesquita, Éryka Costa de Almeida, Ernani Pinto, Miquel Lürling, Marcelo Manzi Marinho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Combining coagulants with ballast (natural soil or modified clay) to remove cyanobacteria from the water column is a promising tool to mitigate nuisance blooms. Nevertheless, the possible effects of this technique on different toxin-producing cyanobacteria species have not been thoroughly investigated. This laboratory study evaluated the potential effects of the “Floc and Sink” technique on releasing microcystins (MC) from the precipitated biomass. A combined treatment of polyaluminium chloride (PAC) with lanthanum modified bentonite (LMB) and/or local red soil (LRS) was applied to the bloom material (mainly Dolichospermum circinalis and Microcystis aeruginosa) of a tropical reservoir. Intra and extracellular MC and biomass removal were evaluated. PAC alone was not efficient to remove the biomass, while PAC + LMB + LRS was the most efficient and removed 4.3–7.5 times more biomass than other treatments. Intracellular MC concentrations ranged between 12 and 2.180 µg L−1 independent from the biomass. PAC treatment increased extracellular MC concentrations from 3.5 to 6 times. However, when combined with ballast, extracellular MC was up to 4.2 times lower in the top of the test tubes. Nevertheless, PAC + LRS and PAC + LMB + LRS treatments showed extracellular MC concentration eight times higher than controls in the bottom. Our results showed that Floc and Sink appears to be more promising in removing cyanobacteria and extracellular MC from the water column than a sole coagulant (PAC).

Original languageEnglish
Article number405
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Cyanobacteria mitigation
  • Dolichospermum
  • Eutrophication control
  • Geo-engineering
  • Microcystis
  • Toxic bloom
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant_OA


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