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Citrate-Coated Gold Nanoparticles As Smart Scavengers for Mercury(II) Removal from Polluted Waters

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-03-27, 00:00 authored by Isaac Ojea-Jiménez, Xicoténcatl López, Jordi Arbiol, Victor Puntes
Colloidal gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) have been employed as single entities for rapid scanning and sequestration of Hg(II) from multicomponent aqueous solutions containing low pollutant concentrations. Under the studied conditions, sodium citrate has been identified as the reducing agent and Au NPs as the catalyst in the reduction of Hg(II), which is efficiently trapped in the presence of other cations such as Cu(II) and Fe(III). The effect of Hg(II) uptake implies amalgam formation, which leads to remarkable morphological transformations. The hydrophobicity of the resulting amalgam and consequent expulsion from water eases its recovery. The interaction between Au and Hg has been studied using UV–vis, ICP-MS, (S)TEM, SEM, EDX, and XRD.

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