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Fate and inhibitory effect of silver nanoparticles in high rate moving bed biofilm reactors

Sanaz Alizadeh, Subhasis Ghoshal and Yves Comeau

Article (2019)

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Municipal water resource recovery facilities are the primary recipients of a significant fraction of discharged silver nanoparticle (AgNP)-containing wastes, yet the fate and potential risks of AgNPs in attached-growth biological wastewater treatment processes are poorly understood. The fate and inhibitory effects of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated AgNPs at environmentally-relevant nominal concentrations (10, 100, 600 μg/L) were investigated, for the first time, in high rate moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) for soluble organic matter removal. The behavior and removal of continuously added AgNPs were characterized using single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS). While no inhibitory effect at average influent concentration of 10.8 μg/L Ag was observed, soluble COD removal efficiency was significantly decreased at 131 μg/L Ag in 18 days and 631 μg/L Ag in 5 days with suppressed biofilm viability. The inhibitory effect of AgNPs on treatment efficiency was highly correlated to the retained mass of total Ag in attached biofilm on the carriers. Biofilm demonstrated limited retention capacity for AgNPs over 18 days. Considerable mass of Ag (38% to 75%) was released via effluent, predominantly as NPs. We detected some chemically transformed and potentially less toxic forms of silver nanoparticles (Ag2S, AgCl), over the exposure period. This study demonstrated the distinct interaction dynamics, bioavailability and inhibitory effects of AgNPs in a biofilm system. Release of bioavailable AgNPs via effluent and AgNP-rich biofilm, sloughing off the carriers, can affect the treatment chain efficiency of downstream processes. Thus, the inhibitory effects of AgNPs can be a concern even at concentrations as low as 100 to 600 μg/L Ag in biological attached growth wastewater treatments.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Silver nanoparticles; Moving bed biofilm reactor; Toxicity; Single particle ICP-MS; Dissolution

Subjects: 1000 Civil engineering > 1000 Civil engineering
1000 Civil engineering > 1006 Hydrologic engineering
1000 Civil engineering > 1007 Water resources and supply
Department: Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, Environment and Climate Change Canada, PerkinElmer Health Sciences Canada, Fonds de Recherche du Québec Nature et Technologies (FRQNT), Canadian Water Network (CWN), SNC Lavalin Environment, City of Calgary, City of Saint-Hyacinthe
Grant number: STPGP 430659–12
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/9077/
Journal Title: Science of Total Environment (vol. 647)
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.073
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.073
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 15:00
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 00:48
Cite in APA 7: Alizadeh, S., Ghoshal, S., & Comeau, Y. (2019). Fate and inhibitory effect of silver nanoparticles in high rate moving bed biofilm reactors. Science of Total Environment, 647, 1199-1210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.073


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