Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Silver nanoparticle (Ag-NP) retention and release in partially saturated soil: column experiments and modelling

Author affiliations

Abstract

The need for better understanding of the environmental fate and transport of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) is now a scientific consensus. However, the partially saturated zone, a critical region that links the earth's surface to aquifers, has to date received only minor attention in the context of ENP mobility. We investigate the transport and fate of a representative ENP, silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), in partially saturated soil. Here we present a set of column experiments and modelling simulations to examine breakthrough curves (BTCs), retention profiles, and mass balances that characterize Ag-NP transport, and gain insights into retardation mechanisms. Unlike Ag-NP transport in sand columns, where the BTC pattern often resembles that of a conservative tracer, Ag-NP transport in soil columns shows moderate mobility and more complex BTC patterns; these results also emphasize the importance of employing realistic porous media in environmental studies. Overall, Ag-NP mobility decreases in the presence of Ca(NO3)2, and increases when the solution contains humic acid, at higher water saturation levels, or at higher input concentrations of Ag-NPs. In addition, a different pattern was observed for Ag-NP aggregates, indicating nanospecific behaviour. Modelling analysis of Ag-NP transport in partially saturated soil suggests that a two-site kinetic model with a time-dependent retention function quantifies the transport behaviour of Ag-NPs.

Graphical abstract: Silver nanoparticle (Ag-NP) retention and release in partially saturated soil: column experiments and modelling

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 19 Oct 2017, accepted on 07 Dec 2017 and first published on 08 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EN00990A
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018,5, 422-435
  •   Request permissions

    Silver nanoparticle (Ag-NP) retention and release in partially saturated soil: column experiments and modelling

    Y. Yecheskel, I. Dror and B. Berkowitz, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, 5, 422
    DOI: 10.1039/C7EN00990A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements