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Implications of Pony Lake Fulvic Acid for the Aggregation and Dissolution of Oppositely Charged Surface-Coated Silver Nanoparticles and Their Ecotoxicological Effects on Daphnia magna

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journal contribution
posted on 19.12.2017, 00:00 by YounJung Jung, George Metreveli, Chang-Beom Park, Seungyun Baik, Gabriele E. Schaumann
Citrate (Cit) and polyethylenimine (BPEI)-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were used to understand how the type of capping agents and surface charge affect their colloidal stability, dissolution, and ecotoxicity in the absence/presence of Pony Lake Fulvic Acid (PLFA). In the presence of PLFA, Cit-AgNPs were stabilized, while BPEI-AgNPs were aggregated. The aggregation of BPEI-AgNPs decreased with the time, and their stabilizing effect increased at high PLFA concentration. The dissolution also differed between both AgNPs and was influenced by the PLFA concentration. Generally, BPEI-AgNPs showed a lower amount of dissolved Ag than Cit-AgNPs. The dissolved Ag concentration decreased for both AgNPs at low PLFA concentration (5 mg/L). In contrast, the extent of nanoparticle dissolution increased at high PLFA concentration (30 mg/L) but only for BPEI-AgNPs. In the absence of PLFA, the ecotoxicity of Cit-AgNPs to Daphnia magna was higher than that of BPEI-AgNPs. However, the ecotoxicity of AgNPs in the presence of PLFA was up to 70% lower than in their absence. We demonstrated that the differences in colloidal stability, dissolution, and ecotoxicity may be attributed to the different capping agents, surface charge, and concentration of natural organic matter (NOM) as well as to the formation of dissolved Ag complexes with NOM.