A full-factorial test design was applied to systematically investigate the contribution and significance of water chemistry parameters (pH, divalent cations and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration) and their interactions on the behavior and fate of copper nanoparticles (CuNPs). The total amount of Cu remaining in the water column after 48 h of incubation was mostly influenced by divalent cation content, DOC concentration and the interaction of divalent cations and DOC. DOC concentration was the predominant factor influencing the dissolution of CuNPs, which was far more important than the effect of pH in the range from 6 to 9 on the dissolution of the CuNPs. The addition of DOC at concentrations ranging from 5 to 50 mg C/L resulted in a 3–5 fold reduction of dissolution of CuNPs after 48 h of incubation, as compared to the case without addition of DOC. Divalent cation content was found to be the most influential factor regarding aggregation behavior of the particles, followed by DOC concentration and the interaction of divalent cations and DOC. In addition, the aggregation behavior of CuNPs rather than particulate dissolution explained most of the variance in the sedimentation profiles of CuNPs. These results are meaningful for improved understanding and prediction of the behavior and fate of metallic NPs in aqueous environments.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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