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Open AccessArticle

Release of Ag/ZnO Nanomaterials and Associated Risks of a Novel Water Sterilization Technology

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800-Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, UZA 2, Room 2C475, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, Beijing Key Laboratory of Micro-Nano Energy and Sensor, Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
Central Laboratory, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
Center on Nanoenergy Research, School of Physical Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2276;
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 11 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water and Wastewater Monitoring and Treatment Technology)
For water sterilization, a highly effective system utilizing electrophoresis and the antimicrobial properties of Ag/ZnO nanomaterials has been developed. However, the key component of this system, a sterilization carbon cloth containing Ag/ZnO nanomaterials, has not been evaluated with respect to the potential environmental and human health risks associated with the nanomaterials released. In this paper, a recirculation flow system and methodology were developed to study the release of Ag and ZnO during water treatment. Our study showed that the released silver nanoparticles and dissolved Ag from the carbon cloth were 50 µg/L and 143 µg/L in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) medium, respectively. The release of dissolved Zn in the EPA medium was 33 µg /L. The results indicate that the release of dissolved and nanoparticulate silver from the sterilization carbon cloth exceeded acceptable risk levels in the aquatic environment. However, if the sterilization carbon cloth was pre-washed two days prior to use, the concentration of Ag was below the drinking water limit of 0.1 mg/L. Our study provides important exposure data for a novel water sanitation technology for real-world application in waste water and drinking water treatment, and aid in assuring its safe use. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; advanced materials; risk assessment; sustainable nanotechnologies; water treatment nanoparticles; advanced materials; risk assessment; sustainable nanotechnologies; water treatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pang, C.; Mackevica, A.; Tian, J.; Feng, H.; Li, Z.; Baun, A. Release of Ag/ZnO Nanomaterials and Associated Risks of a Novel Water Sterilization Technology. Water 2019, 11, 2276.

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