Fast Multi-Element Quantification of Nanoparticles in Water and Waste Water Using Single Particle ICP-MS

Keynote Speaker
Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Keller
Univ of California - Santa Barbara, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Room 3420, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, 93106-5070, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 510-229-9197


It’s essential to monitor the presence of engineered, natural or incidental nanomaterials, particularly metallic or metal-containing nanoparticles (NPs) in water and waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) to understand their potential environmental and ecotoxicological implications. While the partitioning of NPs in WWTP was predicted to retain more in the waste water sludge other than aqueous phase, to date very few studies have detected and quantitatively analyze the concentrations of metallic or metal-containing NPs within the waste water sludge. Here we developed a fast and simple protocol for full quantitative multi-element analysis of nanoparticles in waste water sludge samples via single particle ICP-MS (spICP-MS). The extraction of multi-element NPs from waste water sludge was conducted by centrifugation with high recovery rates (~85%). Using a conventional ICP-MS instruments with single detector, multi-element metallic or metal-containing NPs could be sequentially quantitatively analyzed from a single sample acquisition. The particle size, particle concentration, and particle distribution and dissolved ions concentration for multiple elements in the waste water sludge can be determined quickly and accurately in the same sample, which provides fast screening of the presence of different elements containing NPs at environmental relevant concentrations.