Transport of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in soil.
ABSTRACT The effect of soil properties on the transport of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was studied in a set of laboratory column experiments, using different combinations of size fractions of a Mediterranean sandy clay soil. The AgNPs with average size of ~30nm yielded a stable suspension in water with zeta potential of -39mV. Early breakthrough of AgNPs in soil was observed in column transport experiments. AgNPs were found to have high mobility in soil with outlet relative concentrations ranging from 30% to 70%, depending on experimental conditions. AgNP mobility through the column decreased when the fraction of smaller soil aggregates was larger. The early breakthrough pattern was not observed for AgNPs in pure quartz columns nor for bromide tracer in soil columns, suggesting that early breakthrough is related to the nature of AgNP transport in natural soils. Micro-CT and image analysis used to investigate structural features of the soil, suggest that soil aggregate size strongly affects AgNP transport in natural soil. The retention of AgNPs in the soil column was reduced when humic acid was added to the leaching solution, while a lower flow rate (Darcy velocity of 0.17cm/min versus 0.66cm/min) resulted in higher retention of AgNPs in the soil. When soil residual chloride was exchanged by nitrate prior to column experiments, significantly improved mobility of AgNPs was observed in the soil column. These findings point to the importance of AgNP-soil chemical interactions as a retention mechanism, and demonstrate the need to employ natural soils rather than glass beads or quartz in representative experimental investigations.
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ABSTRACT: Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles are one of the most frequently used nanoparticles in industry and hence are likely to be introduced to the groundwater environment. The mobility of these nanoparticles in different aquifer materials has not been assessed. While some studies have been published on the transport of ZnO nanoparticles in individual porous media, these studies do not generally account for varying porous medium composition both within and between aquifers. As a first step towards understanding the impact of this variability, this paper compares the transport of bare ZnO nanoparticles (bZnO-NPs) and capped ZnO nanoparticles, coated with tri-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (cZnO-NPs), in saturated columns packed with glass beads, fine grained sand and fine grained calcite, at near-neutral pH and groundwater salinity levels. With the exception of cZnO-NPs in sand columns, ZnO nanoparticles are highly immobile in all three types of studied porous media, with most retention taking place near the column inlet. Results are in general agreement with DLVO theory, and the deviation in experiments with cZnO-NPs flowing through columns packed with sand is linked to variability in zeta potential of the capped nanoparticles and sand grains. Therefore, differences in surface charge of nanoparticles and porous media are demonstrated to be key drivers in nanoparticle transport.Journal of contaminant hydrology 04/2014; 162-163C:17-26. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Engineered nanoparticles are increasingly applied in consumer products and concerns are rising regarding their risk as potential contaminants or carriers for colloid-facilitated contaminant transport. Engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are among the most widely used nanomaterials in consumer products. However, their mobility in groundwater has been scarcely investigated. In this study, transport of stabilized AgNP through porous sandstones with variations in mineralogy, pore size distribution and permeability is investigated in laboratory experiments with well-defined boundary conditions. The AgNP samples were mainly characterized by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation coupled to a multi-angle static laser light detector and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy for determination of particle size and concentration. The rock samples are characterized by mercury porosimetry, flow experiments and solute tracer tests. Solute and AgNP breakthrough was quantified by applying numerical models considering one kinetic site model for particle transport. The transport of AgNP strongly depends on pore size distribution, mineralogy and the solution ionic strength. Blocking of attachment sites results in less reactive transport with increasing application of AgNP mass. AgNPs were retained due to physicochemical filtration and probably due to straining. The results demonstrate the restricted applicability of AgNP transport parameters determined from simplified experimental model systems to realistic environmental matrices.Journal of contaminant hydrology 12/2013; 158C:1-13. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have broad spectrum antimicrobial/biocidal properties against all classes of microorganisms and possess numerous distinctive physico-chemical properties compared to bulk Ag. Hence, AgNPs are among the most widely used engineered NPs in a wide range of consumer products and are expected to enter natural ecosystems including soil via diverse pathways. However, despite: (i) soil has been considered as a critical pathway for NPs environmental fate, (ii) plants (essential base component of all ecosystems) have been strongly recommended to be included for the development of a comprehensive toxicity profile for rapidly mounting NPs in varied environmental compartments, and (iii) the occurrence of an intricate relationship between ‘soil-plant systems’ where any change in soil chemical/biological properties is bound to have impact on plant system, the knowledge about AgNPs in soils and investigations on AgNPs-plants interaction is still rare and in its rudimentary stage. To this end, the current paper: (a) overviews sources, status, fate and chemistry of AgNPs in soils, AgNPs-impact on soil biota, (b) critically discusses terrestrial plant responses to AgNPs exposure, and (c) illustrates the knowledge-gaps in the current perspective. Based on the available literature critically appraised herein, a multidisciplinary integrated approach is strongly recommended for future research in the current direction aimed at unveiling the rapidly mounting AgNPs-fate, transformation, accumulation and toxicity potential in ‘soil-plant systems’, and their cumulative impact on environmental and human health.Journal of Nanoparticle Research 08/2013; 15:1896. · 2.18 Impact Factor