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Article

Characteristics and Performances of a Nanostructured Material for Passive Samplers of Gaseous Hg

1
Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research—National Research Council, Research Area of Rome 1, Via Salaria km 23,600, Monterotondo, 00016 Rome, Italy
2
Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, CH-9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland
3
Department of Innovation in Biological Systems, Food and Forestry (DIBAF), Via S. Camillo de Lellis, University of Tuscia, 00100 Viterbo, Italy
4
Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies “Giulio Natta” (SCITEC)—National Research Council, c/o Area di Ricerca di Milano 1, Sede Fantoli, Via Fantoli 16/15, 20138 Milano, Italy
5
Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research—National Research Council, Division of Rende, UNICAL Polifuzionale, 87036 Rende, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(21), 6021; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216021
Received: 21 September 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Mercury Assessment Sensing Strategies)
Passive air samplers (PASs) have been used for mapping gaseous mercury concentration in extensive areas. In this work, an easy-to-use and -prepare gold nanoparticle (NP)-based PAS has been investigated. The PAS is constituted of a microfibrous quartz disk filter impregnated of gold NP photo-growth on TiO2 NPs ([email protected]2) and used as gaseous mercury adsorbing material. The disk was housed in a cylinder glass container and subjected to an axial diffusive sampling. The adsorbed mercury was measured by thermal desorption using a Tekran® instrument. Different amounts of [email protected]2 (ranging between 4.0 and 4.0 × 10−3 mg) were deposited by drop-casting onto the fibrous substrate and assessed for about 1 year of deployment in outdoor environment with a mercury concentration mean of about 1.24 ± 0.32 ng/m3 in order to optimize the adsorbing layer. PASs showed a linear relation of the adsorbed mercury as a function of time with a rate of 18.5 ± 0.4 pg/day (≈1.5% of the gaseous concentration per day). However, only the PAS with 4 mg of [email protected]2, provided with a surface density of about 3.26 × 10−2 mg/mm2 and 50 μm thick inside the fibrous quartz, kept stability in working, with a constant sampling rate (SR) (0.0138 ± 0.0005 m3/day) over an outdoor monitoring experimental campaign of about 1 year. On the other hand, higher sampling rates have been found when PASs were deployed for a few days, making these tools also effective for one-day monitoring. Furthermore, these PASs were used and re-used after each thermal desorption to confirm the chance to reuse such structured layers within their samplers, thus supporting the purpose to design inexpensive, compact and portable air pollutant sampling devices, ideal for assessing both personal and environmental exposures. During the whole deployment, PASs were aided by simultaneous Tekran® measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: gaseous mercury pollution; Au-TiO2 nanoparticles; passive sampler; axial diffusion; thermal desorption; monitoring campaign gaseous mercury pollution; Au-TiO2 nanoparticles; passive sampler; axial diffusion; thermal desorption; monitoring campaign
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MDPI and ACS Style

Avossa, J.; De Cesare, F.; Papa, P.; Zampetti, E.; Bearzotti, A.; Marelli, M.; Pirrone, N.; Macagnano, A. Characteristics and Performances of a Nanostructured Material for Passive Samplers of Gaseous Hg. Sensors 2020, 20, 6021. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216021

AMA Style

Avossa J, De Cesare F, Papa P, Zampetti E, Bearzotti A, Marelli M, Pirrone N, Macagnano A. Characteristics and Performances of a Nanostructured Material for Passive Samplers of Gaseous Hg. Sensors. 2020; 20(21):6021. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Avossa, Joshua, Fabrizio De Cesare, Paolo Papa, Emiliano Zampetti, Andrea Bearzotti, Marcello Marelli, Nicola Pirrone, and Antonella Macagnano. 2020. "Characteristics and Performances of a Nanostructured Material for Passive Samplers of Gaseous Hg" Sensors 20, no. 21: 6021. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20216021

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