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Effects of Biofilms on Trace Metal Adsorption on Plastics in Freshwater Systems
journal contributionposted on 2022-12-06, 03:29 authored by Zhilin Liu, Tanveer AdyelTanveer Adyel, Zhiyuan Wang, Jun Wu, Jianchao Liu, Lingzhan Miao, Jun Hou
The formation of plastisphere on plastics and their potential impact on freshwater ecosystems have drawn increasing attention. However, there is still limited information about the effects of plastisphere on the heavy metal adsorption capacity and the related mechanism of plastic debris in different freshwaters. Herein, the trace metal adsorption capacity, kinetics and adsorption mechanisms of virgin and biofilm-covered plastic debris were investigated. Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic debris were placed in three freshwaters (Xuanwu Lake, Donghu Lake and the Qinhuai River) for 45 days to incubate biofilms. Batch adsorption experiments were performed to compare the adsorption processes of trace metal on virgin and biofilm-covered plastics. Results showed that biofilms increase the adsorption of metals on plastics, and the adsorption isotherms were well fitted by the Langmuir model. Furthermore, the adsorption capacities for lead (Pb(II)) were higher than that of cadmium (Cd(II)) and zinc (Zn(II)), with 256.21 and 277.38 μg/g (Pb(II)) adsorbed in biofilm-covered PP and PET, respectively, in Xuanwu Lake. The adsorption kinetics of metals on plastic debris were significantly affected by the biofilms, by switching the intraparticle diffusion for virgin plastic debris to film diffusion for the biofilm-covered plastic debris. Moreover, the complexation of functional groups within the biofilms might mainly contribute to the increases of metal adsorption, involving the participation of oxygen and nitrogen groups. Overall, these results suggested that biofilms reinforce the potential role of plastics as a carrier of trace metals in freshwaters.
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
biofilmstrace metalplastic debrisadsorption mechanismScience & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineEnvironmental SciencesPublic, Environmental & Occupational HealthEnvironmental Sciences & EcologyMICROPLASTICSBACTERIALIMPACTSPlasticsAdsorptionEcosystemLeadTrace ElementsLakesBiofilmsPolypropylenesWater Pollutants, ChemicalSchool of Life and Environmental SciencesCentre for Integrative EcologyFaculty of Science Engineering and Built EnvironmentBiological Sciences