Aggregation, sedimentation, and dissolution of CuO and ZnO nanoparticles in five waters.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Nov; 25(31):31240-31249.ES
With the accelerated application of copper oxide (CuO) and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) in commercial products, concerns about the potential impacts on the environment have been growing. Environmental behaviors of NPs are expected to significantly influence their fate and ecological risk in the aquatic environment. In this study, the environmental behaviors of two metallic NPs (CuO and ZnO NPs), including aggregation, sedimentation, and dissolution, were systematically evaluated in five representative waters (pool water, lake water, rainwater, tap water, and wastewater) with varying properties. Remarkable aggregation, sedimentation, and dissolution were observed for both metallic NPs, among which ZnO NPs exhibited greater influence. CuO (ZnO) NPs aggregated to 400 (500) nm, 500 (900) nm, and 800 (1500) nm in lake water, wastewater, and tap water, respectively. The sedimentation rates of CuO and ZnO NPs in the five waters were ranked as tap water > wastewater > lake water > pool water > rainwater. The dissolution of CuO and ZnO NPs in waters follows a first-order reaction rate model and is affected by ionic type, ionic strength (IS), and NOM (natural organic matter) concentrations. Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated that the aggregation and sedimentation of NPs have a strong correlation, insofar as the sedimentation rates increase with increasing aggregation rates. The aggregation and dissolution of NPs have a negative correlation, insofar as the dissolution rates reduce with increasing aggregation rates. The aggregation, sedimentation, and dissolution of NPs can be influenced by ionic types, IS, and TOC in waters, among which, TOC may the dominant factor.