Detection of nanoplastics and their uptake of lead in aqueous environmental media

dc.contributor.advisorLouie, Stacey M.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBallarini, Roberto
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRixey, William G.
dc.creatorMowla, Marfua
dc.date.accessioned2023-06-02T18:03:11Z
dc.date.createdDecember 2022
dc.date.issued2022-12-13
dc.date.updated2023-06-02T18:03:12Z
dc.description.abstractNanoplastics and microplastics can be widely found in the environment due to mechanical or chemical degradation of larger plastics. They are of recent concern because of their wide distribution and potentially harmful effects for the environment. These fragments can act as vector for other pollutants, such as heavy metals, which can be adsorbed or entrapped inside the nanoplastics. Reliable detection and quantification of these nanoplastics from environmental matrices are necessary to understand the fate and transport of the particles. Also, the uptake of pollutants is necessary to better estimate their potential hazards. However, existing detection and quantification techniques of nanoplastics have disadvantages such as size resolution issues and limitations in producing mass concentration data. Likewise, better separation and selective detection are important to assess the adsorption of heavy metals on to nanoplastics in natural waters. This thesis aims to develop and apply advanced methods to efficiently separate, detect, quantify, and characterize nanoplastics in complex environmental matrices by hyphenating asymmetric flow field – flow fractionation (AF4) with various online detectors. First, AF4 is hyphenated with a total organic carbon (TOC) detector to provide an efficient separation via AF4 and selectively quantify the mass concentrations of polystyrene nanoplastics across a range of diameters (50 nm to 500 nm) in an aqueous matrix of organic and inorganic colloids. This research further couples AF4 with inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to investigate heavy metal (lead) uptake onto the polystyrene nanoplastics as a function of the surface functional groups on the nanoplastics, and natural organic matter and salts in the aqueous background matrix. Compared to conventional batch methods (solution depletion) to evaluate lead uptake, the hyphenated AF4-ICP-MS method enabled a direct assessment of the lead adsorption onto the nanoplastics without matrix interferences and was critical to detect low levels of adsorbed lead and to confidently distinguish lead uptake in different matrices.
dc.description.departmentCivil and Environmental Engineering, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.citationPortions of this document appear in: Mowla, Marfua, Sheyda Shakiba, and Stacey M. Louie. "Selective quantification of nanoplastics in environmental matrices by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation with total organic carbon detection." Chemical Communications 57, no. 96 (2021): 12940-12943.
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10657/14400
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. UH Libraries has secured permission to reproduce any and all previously published materials contained in the work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.subjectNanoplastics
dc.subjectNatural organic matter
dc.subjectLead adsorption
dc.subjectDetection
dc.subjectAsymmetric Flow Field Flow Fractionation
dc.titleDetection of nanoplastics and their uptake of lead in aqueous environmental media
dc.type.dcmiText
dc.type.genreThesis
dcterms.accessRightsThe full text of this item is not available at this time because the student has placed this item under an embargo for a period of time. The Libraries are not authorized to provide a copy of this work during the embargo period.
local.embargo.lift2024-12-01
local.embargo.terms2024-12-01
thesis.degree.collegeCullen College of Engineering
thesis.degree.departmentCivil and Environmental Engineering, Department of
thesis.degree.disciplineEnvironmental Engineering
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science

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