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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Dissolution of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles under natural freshwater conditions

Niksa Odzak, David Kistler, Renata Behra, Laura Sigg


The dissolution of some widely used nanoparticles (NPs), Ag (citrate coated), ZnO, CuO and Cu-carbon coated (Cu/C), has been studied over a period of nine days in five different natural waters: wastewater treatment plant effluent (WWTP Dübendorf), lakes Greifen, Lucerne, Gruère and Cristallina. These waters differed in ionic strength, pH and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The dissolved fraction of metals from nanoparticles was determined using DGT (Diffusion Gradients in Thin films) and ultrafiltration (UF). ZnO-NP and CuO-NP dissolved to a large extent in all waters, whereas the dissolved fraction was much smaller in the case of Cu/C and Ag-NP. All NPs dissolved to a larger extent in water from Lake Cristallina with low pH, low ionic strength and low DOC. Ag-NP dissolution was favoured at low ionic strength and low pH, whereas dissolution of CuO-NP was mostly dependent on pH. Cu/C-NP strongly agglomerated and sedimented and yielded low dissolved Cu concentrations. DGT and UF produced similar results, although these two methods differ in the measurement time scale. The results of this study indicate that dissolution is an important process for these NP under conditions of natural waters or of wastewaters.

EN14049  Accepted 19 May 2014
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