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Fullerol as a Potential Pathway for Mineralization of Fullerene Nanoparticles in Biosolid-Amended Soils

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2016, 00:00 by Divina A. Navarro, Rai S. Kookana, Mike J. McLaughlin, Jason K. Kirby
Although fullerenes could reach, and potentially adversely affect, the terrestrial environment via the reuse of biosolids, their fate in soil has not been well studied. This study examined the mineralization of fullerenes with drastically different physicochemical properties (C60 and fullerol, C60-OH) in biosolid-amended soils. Using radiolabeled C60 and C60-OH, mineralization of <0.025% C60 and up to 3% C60-OH was observed in three contrasting soils after incubation for 55 days. This difference in observed mineralization highlights C60-OH’s greater bioavailability compared to that of its parent compound C60 in biosolid-amended soils. Glucose-induced respiration tests on C60-/C60-OH-contaminated soils suggest that overall microbial activity was not compromised by exposure to these contaminant species. These results indicate that transformation of certain fullerenes, such as fullerol, could provide a pathway for their mineralization, but such a transformation would be expected to be slow. This study is also the first work to examine the fate of fullerol in soils.