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Nanospeciation of metals and metalloids in volcanic ash using single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Mikhail S. Ermolin, Alexandr I. Ivaneev, Natalia N. Fedyunina, Petr S. Fedotov
Chemosphere 2021 v.281 pp. 130950
Russia, atomic absorption spectrometry, chemical composition, fractionation, toxicity, volcanic activity, volcanic ash
Volcanic activity is one of the main sources of natural nanoparticles. It has been found earlier that the concentration of toxic metals/metalloids in nanoparticles of volcanic ash may be one or two orders of magnitude higher than in bulk sample. However, fate and behavior of toxic metals/metalloids depend on the type of their binding to nanoparticles. Hence, element species adsorbed onto pyroclastic nanoparticles and individual nanophases of metal/metalloid oxides or salts should be distinguished. For the first time, the single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry has been applied to the nanospeciation of volcanic particles. Ashes of four volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russia) were under study. Nanoparticles were separated from bulk ash samples using coiled-tube field-flow fractionation. It has been shown that the nanospeciation of Ni, Zn, Ag, Cd, Tl, As, Pb, Bi, Te, and Hg is dependent on element and volcano. In most cases these elements can be found both as species absorbed onto pyroclastic nanoparticles and as individual nanophases. The ratios of individual nanophases and adsorbed species vary with the sample. In nanoparticles of Tolbachik volcano ash, Ni, Zn, Tl, and Hg are present only as individual nanophases, while Bi, As, Pb, Ag, Cd, and Te are found both as adsorbed species and individual nanophases. The results obtained open a new door into study on the chemical composition of volcanic ash nanoparticles and their fate in the environment.