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Effects of interactions between humic acid and heavy metal ions on the aggregation of TiO2 nanoparticles in water environment

Wang, Dongxu, Wang, Peifang, Wang, Chao, Ao, Yanhui
Environmental pollution 2019 v.248 pp. 834-844
aquatic environment, coagulation, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, heavy metals, humic acids, lead, light scattering, metal ions, nanoparticles, titanium dioxide
Nanoparticles (NPs), heavy metal and natural organic matter (NOM) may simultaneously exist in the aquatic environment, where they will affect the behavior of each other and may enhance their toxicities. Studies on the influences of interactions between NOM and heavy metal ions on the behavior of NPs are scarce. In this study, combined effects of Pb²⁺ and HA on the aggregation behavior of TiO₂ NPs in water environment were investigated by Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). The results illustrated that interactions between Pb²⁺ and HA could case the aggregation of TiO₂ NPs obviously. The concurrence of Pb²⁺ and HA resulted in decreased critical coagulation concentration (CCC) and increased attachment efficiencies. Meanwhile, we found that the addition sequences of HA and heavy metal clearly influenced the aggregation kinetics of TiO₂ NPs. At different addition sequences, the complex reaction between Pb²⁺ and HA changed the surface charge of TiO₂ NPs, and caused the different aggregation behavior which depended on the complex locations and complex sites. Furthermore, the excitation-emission-matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectra was used to verify the significant effects of the complex interactions between Pb²⁺ and HA on the aggregation of TiO₂ NPs. Our results would be significant for interpreting TiO₂ behavior in the complicated water system.The complexation between Pb²⁺ and HA promoted the aggregation of TiO₂ NPs, meanwhile, complex locations and complex sites played an important role.