The persistence and transformation of silver nanoparticles in littoral lake mesocosms monitored using various analytical techniques
- Journal Article
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) may be released into surface waters, where they can affect aquatic organisms. However, agglomeration, dissolution, surface modifications and chemical speciation are important processes that control the toxicity of AgNPs. The purpose of the study was to apply various methods for monitoring the persistence and transformation of AgNPs added to littoral lake mesocosms. Analysis of total Ag showed that the levels in the mesocosms declined rapidly in the first 12 h after addition, followed by a slower rate of dissipation with a half-life (t1/2) of ~20 days. Analysis using single particle ICP-MS (spICP-MS) showed no evidence of extensive homo-agglomeration of AgNPs. The stability of AgNPs was likely due to the low ionic strength and high concentrations of humic-rich dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the lake water. Analyses by spICP-MS, cloud point extraction (CPE) and asymmetric flow field flow fractionation coupled to ICP-MS (AF4-ICP-MS) all indicated that the concentrations of AgNP decreased over time, and the nanoparticles underwent dissolution. However, the concentrations of dissolved silver, which includes Ag+, were generally below detection limits when analysed by centrifugal ultrafiltration and spICP-MS. It is likely that the majority of free ions released by dissolution were complexing with natural organic material, such as DOC. An association with DOC would be expected to reduce the toxicity of Ag+ in natural waters. Overall, we were able to characterise AgNP transformations in natural waters at toxicologically relevant concentrations through the use of multiple analytical techniques that compensate for the limitations of the individual methods. © CSIRO 2014. Show more
Journal / seriesEnvironmental Chemistry
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit09717 - Mitrano, Denise M. / Mitrano, Denise M.
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