Microcystins (MCs) are a group of monocyclic heptapeptide toxins produced by species of cyanobacteria. Since MCs exhibit acute and chronic effects on humans and wildlife by damaging the liver, they are of increasing concern worldwide. In this study, we investigated the ability of the phthalocyanine compound (ZnPc-TiO2-SiO2) to degrade microcystin-LR (MC-LR) in the presence of visible light. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV-Visible diffuse reflectance spectra (UV-Vis DRS) were utilized to characterize the crystalline phase and the absorption behavior of this catalyst. According to the results, XRD spectra of ZnPc-TiO2-SiO2 powders taken in the 2θ configuration exhibited the peaks characteristic of the anatase phase. UV-Vis DRS showed that the absorption band wavelength shifted to the visible range when ZnPc was supported on the surface of TiO2-SiO2. Subsequently, several parameters including catalyst dose, MC-LR concentrations and pH were investigated. The MC-LR was quantified in each sample through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The maximum MC-LR degradation rate of 80.2% can be obtained within 300 minutes under the following conditions: catalyst dose of 7.50 g/L, initial MC-LR concentration of 17.35 mg/L, pH 6.76 and the first cycling run of the photocatalytic reaction. Moreover, the degradation process fitted well with the pseudo-first-order kinetic model.

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