Elemental copper nanoparticle toxicity to anaerobic ammonium oxidation and the influence of ethylene diamine-tetra acetic acid (EDTA) on copper toxicity

Jorge Gonzalez-Estrella, Guangbin Li, Sarah E. Neely, Daniel Puyol, Maria Reye Sierra Alvarez, James A Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soluble ions released by elemental copper nanoparticles (Cu0 NP) are toxic to key microorganisms of wastewater treatment processes. However, their toxicity to anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has not yet been studied. Chelating agents occurring in wastewater may decrease copper ions (Cu2+) concentration and consequently, decrease copper toxicity. This study evaluated Cu0 NP and CuCl2 toxicity to anammox and the influence of ethylene diamine-tetra acetic acid (EDTA) on copper toxicity. Bioassays were supplemented with Cu0 NP or CuCl2 with and without EDTA. Anammox activities were used to calculate inhibition constants (Ki). Results showed that Cu0 NP are toxic to anammox. Ki constants with respect to added copper were 1.8- and 2.81-fold larger (less toxic) in EDTA-containing assays for Cu0 NP and CuCl2, respectively, compared to EDTA-free assays. Additionally, Ki constants calculated in EDTA-free assays with respect the measured dissolved copper concentration were 0.023 mM Cu0 NP and 0.014 mM CuCl2. The similarity of these Ki constants indicates that Cu0 NP toxicity to anammox is caused by the release of Cu2+. Finally, severe toxicity caused by 0.315 mM and Cu0 NP 0.118 mM CuCl2 was attenuated by 88–100% when 0.14 mM EDTA was supplied. Toxicity attenuation likely occurred because EDTA complexed Cu2+ ions, thus, decreasing their bioavailability. Overall, this study indicates that Cu0 NP and CuCl2 are toxic to anammox, and furthermore, that EDTA attenuates Cu0 NP and CuCl2 toxicity to anammox by complexing Cu2+ ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-737
Number of pages8
JournalChemosphere
Volume184
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Keywords

  • Anammox
  • Complexation
  • Inhibition constant
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nitrogen removal
  • Toxicity attenuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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