Aging of dissolved copper and copper-based nanoparticles in five different soils: short-term kinetics vs long-term fate

Sekine, Ryo; Marzouk, Ezzat R.; Khaksar, Maryam; Scheckel, Kirk G.; Stegemeier, John P.; Lowry, Gregory V.; Donner, Erica; Lombi, Enzo. 2017 Aging of dissolved copper and copper-based nanoparticles in five different soils: short-term kinetics vs long-term fate. Journal of Environmental Quality, 46 (6). 1198-1205.

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With the growing availability and use of copper based nanomaterials (Cu-NMs), there is increasing concern regarding their release and potential impact on the environment. In this study, the short term (≤ 5 days) ageing profile and the long term (4 months) speciation of dissolved Cu, copper oxide (CuO-) and copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS-NPs) were investigated in five different soils using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Soil pH was found to strongly influence the short term chemistry of the Cu-NMs added at 100 mg/kg above background. Low pH soils promoted rapid dissolution of CuO-NPs that effectively aligned their behaviour to that of dissolved Cu within 3 days. In higher pH soils, CuO-NPs persisted longer due to slower dissolution in the soil and resulted in contrasting short term speciation compared to dissolved Cu, which formed copper hydroxides and carbonates that were reflective of the soil chemistry. Organic matter appeared to slow the dissolution process but in the long term, the speciation of Cu added as dissolved Cu, CuO-NPs and CuS-NPs were found to be same for each soil. The results imply that in the short term Cu-NMs may exhibit unique behaviour in alkaline soils compared to their conventional forms (e.g. in the event of an adverse leaching event), but in the long term (≥ 4 months), their fates are dictated by the soil properties and are independent of the initial Cu form, and are likely to present minimal risk of nano-specific Cu-NM impact in the soil environment for the concentration studied here.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
ISSN: 0047-2425
Additional Keywords: copper, copper oxide, nanomaterial, X-ray absorption near edge structure, XANES, synchrotron, speciation, ageing, soil, X-ray absorption spectroscopy
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 04 Apr 2017 14:10 +0 (UTC)

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