Removal of Stabilized Silver Nanoparticles from Surface Water by Conventional Treatment Processes

Hafiz H. M. Salih, Amro M. El Badawy, Thabet M. Tolaymat, Craig L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Engineered nanomaterials are used in many applications, including pollution sensors, photovoltaics, medical imaging, drug delivery and environmental remediation. Due to their numerous applications, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) are receiving a large amount of attention. Ag NPs may occur in drinking water sources either during manufacturing, consumption and/or disposal processes. This potentially leads to the presence of Ag NPs in finished drinking water, which could have public health impacts. The objective of this research was to investigate the removal of several types of stabilized Ag NPs by potable water treatment processes. Specifically, this research achieved these objectives through; 1) Synthesis of Citrate-reduced Ag NPs, Polyvinylpyrrolidone stabilized (PVP) Ag NPs and Branched polyethyleneimine stabilized (BPEI) Ag NPs, 2) Characterization of synthesized Ag NPs to determine their aggregation potential, Zeta potential profiles, (pHpzc) and obtain morphological data from SEM images, and 3) An evaluation of the efficacy of conventional water treatment processes (i.e., coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation and sand filtration) in removing stabilized Ag NPs from natural water. The three NPs were found to be stable at the nano size in natural water. Alum coagulation had no impact on the PVP and BPEI Ag NPs. Flocculation and settling were found to be key steps for removal of these NPs. The three Ag NPs were not permanently removed by means of conventional water treatment processes employed in this study.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21--35
JournalAdvances in Nanoparticles
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


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