Magnetic activated carbon (MAC) mitigates contaminant bioavailability in farm pond sediment and dietary risks in aquaculture products

Yiqin Chen, Wenjian Yu, Ruyi Zheng, Juan Ying Li, Li Zhang, Qian Wang, Jie Yin, Ling Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metals (HMs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are among the contaminants of concern in aquaculture ponds due to their frequent detection and high bioaccumulation in aquatic products and hence high dietary risks to human beings. In this study, magnetic activated carbon (MAC) was added as a stabilization and removal adsorbent to native pond sediment with known contamination of HMs and PAHs to reduce the tissue residues and dietary risks of HMs and PAHs in a model aquaculture species (Venerupis philippinarum) in the course of a 28-day bioaccumulation experiment. Meanwhile, passive sampling techniques based on diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) were applied to sense the bioavailable fraction of HMs and PAHs in sediment during the stabilization process. The results showed that 3% dosage of MAC to sediment achieved the most cost-effective stabilization for HMs and PAHs. A remarkable decrease was observed with the tissue residues of HMs and PAHs in V. philippinarum (28–47% for HMs and ~76% for ∑PAHs), which was quantitatively linked to the decline in their bioavailable concentrations in sediment pore water (31–46% for HMs and ~76% for ∑PAHs). Consequently, the target hazard quotients (THQs) posed by HMs and incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCRs) by PAHs in V. philippinarum were reduced by 38% and 46%, respectively. Along with the magnetic recovery of ~70% MAC from the sediment, HMs (4.8–13%) and PAHs (2–60%) can be effectively removed. We further established a multi-domain equilibrium sorption model that was able to predict the optimal amendment of MAC for quantitative mitigation of bioavailable PAHs in sediment pore water within a certain range of MAC dosage. Future studies are warranted to explore the applicability domain of MAC for in situ remediation in aquaculture ponds to ensure the quality of farming organisms or to serve other purposes in aquatic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139185
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2020


  • Aquaculture sediment
  • Freely dissolved concentration
  • Heavy metal
  • Magnetic activated carbon
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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