Influence of shear forces on the aggregation and sedimentation behavior of cerium dioxide (CeO2) nanoparticles under different hydrochemical conditions
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This study contributed to a better understanding of the behavior of nanoparticles (NPs) in dynamic water. First, the aggregation behavior of CeO2 NPs at different pH values in various salt solutions was examined to determine the appropriate hydrochemical conditions for hydrodynamics study. Second, the aggregation behavior of CeO2 NPs under different shear forces was investigated at pH 4 and ionic strength 0 in various salt solutions to find out whether shear forces could influence the stability of the nanoparticles and if yes, how. Also, five-stage sedimentation tests were conducted to understand the influence of shear stress on the vertical distribution of CeO2 NPs in natural waters. The aggregation test showed that the shear force could increase the collision efficiency between NPs during aggregation and cause a relatively large mass of NPs to remain in suspension. Consequently, the nanoparticles had a greater possibility of continued aggregation. The sedimentation test under static conditions indicated that a large mass of NPs (>1000 nm) sink to the bottom layer, leaving only small aggregates dispersed in the upper or middle layer of the solution. However, later sedimentation studies under stirring conditions demonstrated that shear forces can disrupt this stratification phenomenon. These results suggest that shear forces can influence the spatial distribution of NPs in natural waters, which might lead to different toxicities of CeO2 NPs to aquatic organisms distributed in the different water layers. This study contributes to a better understanding of nanomaterial toxicology and provides a way for further research.
KeywordsShear force CeO2 nanoparticles Aggregation Sedimentation hydrochemical conditions Health and environmental effects
We are grateful for the grants from the project supported by the National Science Funds for the Creative Research Groups of China (No. 51421006), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51479047, 51209069), the National Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 51225901), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT13061), the Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41430751), the National Science Funds for Excellent Young Scholars (No. 51422902), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2015B22014, No. 2015B05714) and PAPD.
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