Evaluation of Small Unilamellar Vesicles as a Removal Method of Benzo[a]pyrene from Humic Substances in Soils
|Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are highly hydrophobic and lipophilic and are readily retained by soil surfaces and organic matter. Hence, several techniques have been developed in an effort to economically and effectively remove them from soil solids. Their strong affinity to soil organic matter limits their biodegradation processes by microorganisms, making them persistent in the soil environment. Recently, the use of “small unilamellar vesicles” (SUVs), nano-scale lipid aggregates, has been proposed as a means to enhance these microbial degradations, by effectively solubilizing lipophilic PAHs from the soil solids. In this thesis, laboratory-scale batch experiments were performed to examine this potential by measuring the uptake of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a model PAH compound, by SUVs from a simulated soil organic matter. This environmental surface was created by coating silica (SiO2) nanospheres with a layer of poly-L-lysine, followed by humic acid, and characterized by dynamic light scattering for particle size and zeta potential values. Then, these humic acid-bound SiO2 particles were saturated with BaP and then equilibrated with SUVs. The uptake of BaP by SUVs was measured through fluorescence spectroscopy, and the average amount of BaP concentrated in the 1 mg/L humic acid-bound SiO2 particles was found to be 1.77 µg/L. After one week of equilibration with SUVs, 94.4% and 83.6% of the added BaP was solubilized by SUVs (in solutions containing 50 mg/L and 100 mg/L of vesicles, respectively), indicating an excellent ability to extract BaP from the soil organic particles. SUVs can therefore be an effective vehicle to enhance the biodegradability of PAHs in soils, with potential as an environmentally sustainable and affordable method.
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|Evaluation of Small Unilamellar Vesicles as a Removal Method of Benzo[a]pyrene from Humic Substances in Soils
|Grandstaff, David E.
|Chemtob, Steven M.
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