Transport and retention of biogenic selenium nanoparticles in biofilm-coated quartz sand porous media and consequence for elemental mercury immobilization

Xiaonan Wang, Bingshen Liu, Xiangliang Pan, Geoffrey Michael Gadd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Bacterial biofilms are structured cell communities embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and a ubiquitous growth form of bacteria in the environment. A wide range of interactions between biofilms and nanoparticles have been reported. In the present study, the influence of a mixed bacterial biofilm on retention of biogenic selenium nanoparticles (BioSeNPs) and consequences for immobilization of elemental mercury (Hg0) in a porous quartz sand system were examined. BioSeNPs were significantly retained in the presence of a biofilm through electrical double layer effects, hydrogen bonding, and hydrophobic, steric and bridging interactions. Moreover, enhanced surface roughness, pore clogging, sieving and entrapment effects mediated by the biofilm also contributed to deposition of BioSeNPs. Whereas, thiol groups associated with the biofilm is a little helpful for the capture of Hg0. It is proposed that oxidative complexation between Hg0 and thiol compounds or S containing organic matter in the biofilm may result in the formation of Hg2+-thiolate complexes and HgS during the binding of Hg0 with BioSeNPs. The formation of mercury selenide was also involved in Hg0 immobilization in the porous quartz sand system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1124
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume692
Early online date20 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Hg immobilization
  • Mercury selenide
  • Nanoparticle retention
  • Selenium nanoparticles
  • Thiols

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