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Chemosphere. 2013 Oct;93(4):619-25. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.06.010. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Reaction of silver nanoparticles in the disinfection process.

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Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China.


This study investigated the dissolution, aggregation, and reaction kinetics of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with the three types of water disinfectants (ultraviolet, sodium hypochlorite, and ozone) under the different conditions of pH, ionic strength, or humic acid (HA). The physicochemical changes of AgNPs were measured by using UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer. The results showed that when AgNPs contacted the disinfectants, oxidative dissolution was the primary reaction. In addition, the reaction kinetics studies revealed that the reaction rate of AgNPs with disinfectants was significantly influenced by different disinfectants along with different pH and the presence of sodium nitrate and HA. Our research demonstrated the potential effect of disinfectants on AgNPs, which will improve our understanding of the fate of AgNPs in the disinfection processes in the water and wastewater treatment plant.


Disinfectants; Dissolved silver; Reaction kinetics; Silver nanoparticles

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