Interactions of inorganic oxide nanoparticles with sewage biosolids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The use of nanoparticles (NPs) in manufacturing continues to increase despite the growing concern over their potential environmental and health effects. Understanding the interaction of NPs and sewage sludge is crucial for determining the ultimate fate of NPs released to municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) as those interactions will determine whether the bulk of the material is retained in the sludge or released in the effluent stream. Analyzing the affinity of aluminum oxide, cerium oxide, and silicon oxide NPs, which are commonly used in semiconductor manufacturing processes, for biosolids used in municipal WWTPs provides a basis for estimating their removal efficiency. Batch studies were performed and the NPs were shown to partition onto the cellular surface. At the maximum equilibrium values tested (75-92 mg nanoparticles/L), the concentration of Al2O3, CeO2 and SiO 2 associated with the sludge was 137, 238, and 28 mg/g-sludge VSS, respectively. These results suggest that electrostatic interactions play a major role in determining NP association with biosolids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1821-1827
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2012


  • Alumina
  • Ceria
  • Isotherm
  • Silica
  • Sludge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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