• Bioavailability and phytotoxicity of rare earth metals to Triticum aestivum under various exposure scenarios.

      Gong, Bing; He, Erkai; Xia, Bing; Ying, Rongrong; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Liu, Yang; Qiu, Hao (2020-09-22)
      It is a daunting challenge to predict toxicity and accumulation of rare earth metals (REMs) in different exposure scenarios (e.g., varying water chemistry and metal combinations). Herein, we investigated the toxicity and uptake of La and Ce in the presence of various levels of Ca, Mg, Na, K, and at different pH values, as well as the combined effects of La and Ce in wheat Triticum aestivum. Major cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+) significantly mitigated the toxicity and accumulation of La3+/Ce3+. Toxicity and uptake of La, Ce, and La-Ce mixtures could be well quantified by the multi-metal biotic ligand model (BLM) and by the Langmuir-type uptake model with the consideration of the competitive effects of Ca2+ and Mg2+, with more than 85.1% of variations explained. The derived binding constants of Ca, Mg, La, and Ce to wheat root were respectively 3.87, 3.59, 6.97, and 6.48 on the basis of toxicity data, and 3.23, 2.84, 6.07, and 5.27 on the basis of uptake data. The use of the alternative WHAM-Ftox approach, requiring fewer model parameters than the BLM but with similar Akaike information criterion (AIC) values, successfully predicted the toxicity and accumulation of La/Ce as well as toxicity of La-Ce mixtures, with at least 76.4% of variations explained. However, caution should be taken when using this approach to explain the uptake of La-Ce mixtures. Our results provided promising tools for delineating REMs toxicity/uptake in the presence of other toxicity-modifying factors or in mixture scenarios.
    • Impact of CeO nanoparticles on the aggregation kinetics and stability of polystyrene nanoplastics: Importance of surface functionalization and solution chemistry.

      Li, Xing; He, Erkai; Xia, Bing; Van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Cao, Xinde; Qiu, Hao (2020-08-20)
      The increasing application of plastics is accompanied by increasing concern over the stability and potential risk of nanoplastics. Heteroaggregation with metal-based nanoparticles (e.g., CeO2-NPs) is critical to the environmental mobility of nanoplastics, as they are likely to be jointly emitted to the aquatic environment. Here, time-resolved dynamic light scattering was employed to evaluate the influence of CeO2-NPs on the aggregation kinetics of differentially surface functionalized polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs) in various water types. Natural organic matters and ionic strength were dominating factors influencing the heteroaggregation of PS-NPs and CeO2-NPs in surface waters. The critical coagulation concentrations of PS-NPs were dependent on their surface coatings, which decreased in the presence of CeO2-NPs due to electrostatic attraction and/or specific adsorption. Incubation of PS-NPs and CeO2-NPs under different pH confirmed the importance of electrostatic force in the aggregation of PS NPs. A relatively low humic acid (HA) concentration promoted the heteroaggregation of NH2-coated PS-NPs and CeO2-NPs because the introduction of a HA surface coating decreased the electrostatic hindrance. At high HA concentrations, the aggregation was inhibited by steric repulsion. The combined effects of high efficiency of double layer compression, bridging and complexation contributed to the high capacity of Ca2+ in destabilizing the particles. These findings demonstrate that the environmental behavior of nanoplastics is influenced by the presence of other non-plastic particles and improve our understanding of the interactions between PS-NPs and CeO2-NPs in complex and realistic aqueous environments.
    • The shuttling effects and associated mechanisms of different types of iron oxide nanoparticles for Cu(II) reduction by Geobacter sulfurreducens.

      Qiu, Hao; Xu, Hang; Xu, Zibo; Xia, Bing; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Cao, Xinde; Du, Huihui; Zhao, Ling; Qiu, Rongliang; He, Erkai (2020-07-05)