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Relevance of Iron Oxyhydroxide and Pore Water Chemistry on the Mobility of Nanoplastic Particles in Water-Saturated Porous Media Environments

Title data

Lu, Taotao ; Gilfedder, Benjamin Silas ; Peng, Hao ; Peiffer, Stefan ; Papastavrou, Georg ; Ottermann, Katharina ; Frei, Sven:
Relevance of Iron Oxyhydroxide and Pore Water Chemistry on the Mobility of Nanoplastic Particles in Water-Saturated Porous Media Environments.
In: Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. Vol. 232 (2021) Issue 5 . - No. 168.
ISSN 1573-2932
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-021-05125-z

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
SFB 1357 MikroplastikNo information
Chinese Scholarship Council 201708420145No information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Chinese Scholarship Council

Abstract in another language

The increasing use of plastic products and its inevitable decomposition after improper disposal has led to large numbers of nano- and microplastic in aqueous environments. There is currently a critical need to investigate the transport and retention mechanisms of nanoplastic particles in water-saturated porous media (e.g., aquifers or sediments) to better understand residence times and ecosystem exposure of these particles in aqueous environments. In this study, we performed a set of column experiments in order to investigate and understand the primary controls on the mobility of nanoplastics in a controlled laboratory environment. As part of the experiments, we used polystyrene nanoplastic particles (PS-NPs, 50 nm) in combination with iron oxyhydroxide–coated sand, which is known for its high surface reactivity and often can be found in natural systems in environmentally relevant amounts. We also adjusted pore water chemistry (pH, ionic strength, cation species) to represent non-uniform geochemical conditions in nature and to understand how these conditions quantitatively affect the transport of nanoplastics. Mobility and retention of PS-NPs were assessed by analyzing breakthrough curves. For negatively charged iron oxyhydroxide coatings (at pH > pHpzc), only little retention of PS-NPs could be observed. In contrast, positively charged iron oxyhydroxide coatings (pH < pHpzc) provided favorable deposition sites for the negatively charged PS-NPs. DLVO theory was used to show that high pH and low ionic strength increased the energy barriers between PS-NPs and the porous media. In contrast, low pH and high ionic strength decreased the barriers and thus increased retention in the columns. Finally, bridging agents, such as Ca2+ and Ba2+, resulted in the significant deposition of nanoplastics by forming bonds between O-containing functional groups on both the plastic and sediment surfaces. These findings indicate that the deposition and fate of nanoplastic particles are strongly affected by the water chemistry and soil components in subsurface environments.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Polystyrene nanoplastic; Transport; DLVO theory; Iron oxyhydroxide; Coated sand
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry > Chair Physical Chemistry II > Chair Physical Chemistry II - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Georg Papastavrou
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology > Chair Hydrology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Polymer and Colloid Science
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Ecology and the Environmental Sciences
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center for Colloids and Interfaces - BZKG
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit > SFB 1357 - MIKROPLASTIK
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 08:05
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2021 08:19
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/64822