TiO2 nanoparticle sorption to sand in the presence of natural organic matter

Changwoo Kim, Jaesang Lee, Seunghak Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The sorption properties of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) on sand were investigated in the presence of Suwannee River humic acid (SRHA) as a surrogate for natural organic matter. SRHA drastically reduced the sorption preference regardless of the initial pH and ionic strength of the solution. Despite the higher SRHA loading onto sand versus the TiO2 NPs, the consequent zeta (ζ)-potential drop was more significant in the TiO2 NPs, indicating that the decreased sorption should be primarily ascribed to the fraction of SRHA sorbed onto the TiO2 NP surfaces. The hindering effect of SRHA on the sorption increased with SRHA concentration, but stabilized at the concentration equivalent to full surface coverage of the TiO2 NPs and sand in the reaction system. Interaction force measurements indicated that SRHA inhibits the approach of the TiO2 NPs to the sand surface, as expected by the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek calculation. However, the adhesion force of TiO2 NPs to sand was not critically affected by the presence of SRHA. TiO2 NP sorption to natural sand was limited as to the acid-treated sand in the presence of SRHA, implying that the organics dissolved from natural sand might facilitate the transport of TiO2 NPs in aquifers by inhibiting TiO2 NP sorption to aquifer materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5585-5591
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Fate and transport
  • Natural organic matter
  • Sand
  • Sorption
  • TiO nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry


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