Fate of silver nanoparticles in agricultural soils amended with sewage sludge

23-05-2016

Silver nanoparticles released from consumer products end up in waste water treatment plants and may then be transferred to agricultural soils through the use of sewage sludge as fertiliser. Results from this study challenge the current idea that silver nanoparticles transform into a single, well-crystallised form of Ag2S. A combination of X-ray techniques has allowed the identification of a secondary Ag-S form (amorphous Ag2S and/or Ag-thiol) as well as nanosized mixed metallic sulfides in sludge and soil samples.

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Waste water treatments plants are considered as major hubs controlling the release and fate of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) in the environment. Sulfidation plays a major role in the reduction of the potential impact of these nanoparticles [1].  This study confirms Ag2S as the main species in polluted sludge and amended soils. However, thanks to a combination of techniques available at the ESRF, the presence of another secondary Ag-S species and mixed metallic sulfides have also been evidenced. Despite the extremely low solubility of Ag2S, our results showed a possible interconversion ght/content-news/spotlighr

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