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A novel Cyphos IL 104-based polymer inclusion membrane (PIM) probe to mimic biofilm zinc accumulation

Anticó, E., Fontàs, C., Vera, R., Mostazo, G., Salvadó, V., Guasch, H.
The Science of the total environment 2020 v.715 pp. 136938
EDTA (chelating agent), aquatic organisms, biofilm, cellulose, ecosystems, ionic liquids, mining, nitric acid, plasticizers, polymers, river water, streams, surface water, zinc
The presence of Zn in surface waters from abandoned mining zones is a critical issue since excess Zn concentrations may affect aquatic life and whole ecosystems. We present, for the first time, a simple tool based on a polymer inclusion membrane (PIM) intended to monitor Zn in river water by mimicking metal accumulation in the biofilm. The PIM-based probe contains a polymeric membrane prepared using cellulose triacetate (CTA, 50% w/w) as the base polymer, nitrophenyloctyl ether (NPOE) as the plasticizer (20% w/w), and the ionic liquid (IL) Cyphos 104 as the extractant (30% w/w). The accumulation of Zn in the acceptor phase (0.01 M HNO₃) was evaluated for different free metal concentrations at 4 h accumulation time resulting in a good correlation between the free metal concentration and the accumulated one. We also found that the metal accumulated agrees with the free metal fraction upon addition of EDTA in the donor solution. The results for Zn accumulation with the PIM-based probe were found to be comparable to those obtained for a biofilm that was grown in a stream from an abandoned mine area and subsequently translocated to the laboratory and put in contact with Zn polluted stream water, so confirming the effectiveness of this new probe in mimicking Zn accumulation in the biofilm.