Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 26, pp 21191–21202 | Cite as

Zero-valent iron particles for PCB degradation and an evaluation of their effects on bacteria, plants, and soil organisms

  • Alena ŠevcůEmail author
  • Yehia S. El-Temsah
  • Jan Filip
  • Erik J. Joner
  • Kateřina Bobčíková
  • Miroslav ČerníkEmail author
Research Article


Two types of nano-scale zero-valent iron (nZVI-B prepared by borohydride reduction and nZVI-T produced by thermal reduction of iron oxide nanoparticles in H2) and a micro-scale ZVI (mZVI) were compared for PCB degradation efficiency in water and soil. In addition, the ecotoxicity of nZVI-B and nZVI-T particles in treated water and soil was evaluated on bacteria, plants, earthworms, and ostracods. All types of nZVI and mZVI were highly efficient in degradation of PCBs in water, but had little degradation effect on PCBs in soil. Although nZVI-B had a significant negative impact on the organisms tested, treatment with nZVI-T showed no negative effect, probably due to surface passivation through controlled oxidation of the nanoparticles.


Polychlorinated biphenyls Zero-valent iron nanoparticles and microparticles Remediation Ecotoxicity Bacteria Plants Earthworms Ostracods 



This research was funded by European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 309517 (NanoRem), by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR) under the project “Competence Centers” (Nanobiowat TE01020218), by Ministry of Industry and Trade (Project No. FR-TI3/622) and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (Project No. LO1305). The authors also acknowledge the assistance provided by the Research Infrastructure NanoEnviCz, supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under project No. LM2015073. The authors would like to thank Klára Šafářová for electron microscopy of the samples, Jiří Pechoušek for surface area measurement, and Eleni Petala and Ivo Medřík for technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_9699_MOESM1_ESM.docx (207 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 206 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and InnovationsTechnical University of LiberecLiberecCzech Republic
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute for Bioecomomy Research, Environment and Climate DepartmentÅsNorway
  3. 3.Genøk - Centre for BiosafetyTromsøNorway
  4. 4.Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and MaterialsPalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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