ICN2 Publications


  • Highly reduced ecotoxicity of ZnO-based micro/nanostructures on aquatic biota: Influence of architecture, chemical composition, fixation, and photocatalytic efficiency

    Serrà A., Zhang Y., Sepúlveda B., Gómez E., Nogués J., Michler J., Philippe L. Water Research; 169 (115210) 2020. 10.1016/j.watres.2019.115210.

    Magnetic Nanostructures

    Developing efficient sunlight photocatalysts with enhanced photocorrosion resistance and minimal ecotoxicological effects on aquatic biota is critical to combat water contamination. Here, the role of chemical composition, architecture, and fixation on the ecotoxicological effects on microalgae of different ZnO and ZnO@ZnS based water decontamination photocatalysts was analyzed in depth. In particular, the ecotoxicological effects of films, nanoparticles and biomimetic micro/nano-ferns were carefully assessed by correlating the algae's viability to the Zn(II) release, the photocatalyst–microalgae interaction, and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The results showed a drastic improvement in algal viability for supported ZnO@ZnS core@shell micro/nanoferns, as their ecotoxicity after 96 h light exposure was significantly lower (3.7–10.0% viability loss) compared to the ZnO films (18.4–35.5% loss), ZnO micro/nanoferns (28.5–53.5% loss), ZnO nanoparticles (48.3–91.7% loss) or ZnO@ZnS nanoparticles (8.6–19.2% loss) for catalysts concentrations ranging from 25 mg L−1 to 400 mg L−1. In particular, the ZnO@ZnS micro/nanoferns with a concentration of 400 mg L−1 exhibited excellent photocatalytic efficiency to mineralize a multi-pollutant solution (81.4 ± 0.3% mineralization efficiency after 210 min under UV-filtered visible light irradiation) and minimal photocorrosion (<5% of photocatalyst dissolution after 96 h of UV-filtered visible light irradiation). Remarkably, the ZnO@ZnS micro/nanoferns showed lower loss of algal viability (9.8 ± 1.1%) after 96 h of light exposure, with minimal reduction in microalgal biomass (9.1 ± 1.0%), as well as in the quantity of chlorophyll-a (9.5 ± 1.0%), carotenoids (8.6 ± 0.9%) and phycocyanin (5.6 ± 0.6%). Altogether, the optimized ZnO@ZnS core@shell micro/nanoferns represent excellent ecofriendly photocatalysts for water remediation in complex media, as they combine enhanced sunlight remediation efficiency, minimal adverse effects on biological microorganisms, high reusability and easy recyclability. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

  • Multi-approach analysis to assess the chromium(III) immobilization by Ochrobactrum anthropi DE2010

    Villagrasa E., Ballesteros B., Obiol A., Millach L., Esteve I., Solé A. Chemosphere; 238 (124663) 2020. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124663.

    Electron Microscopy Unit

    Ochrobactrum anthropi DE2010 is a microorganism isolated from Ebro Delta microbial mats and able to resist high doses of chromium(III) due to its capacity to tolerate, absorb and accumulate this metal. The effect of this pollutant on O. anthropi DE2010 has been studied assessing changes in viability and biomass, sorption yields and removal efficiencies. Furthermore, and for the first time, its capacity for immobilizing Cr(III) from culture media was tested by a combination of High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) imaging coupled to Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The results showed that O. anthropi DE2010 was grown optimally at 0–2 mM Cr(III). On the other hand, from 2 to 10 mM Cr(III) microbial plate counts, growth rates, cell viability, and biomass decreased while extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production increases. Furthermore, this bacterium had a great ability to remove Cr(III) at 10 mM (q = 950.00 mg g−1) immobilizing it mostly in bright polyphosphate inclusions and secondarily on the cellular surface at the EPS level. Based on these results, O. anthropi DE2010 could be considered as a potential agent for bioremediation in Cr(III) contaminated environments. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd