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Silver Nanoparticles in Natural Environment: Formation, Fate, and Toxicity

  • Virender K. SharmaEmail author
  • Radek Zboril
Chapter
Part of the Nanomedicine and Nanotoxicology book series (NANOMED)

Abstract

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the existence of natural nanoparticles in the environment and their subsequent influence to the ecological health. This chapter presents the current status on thermally- and light-induced formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under environmentally relevant conditions. Influenced environmental parameters include temperature, pH, oxic/anoxic environment, and concentrations of precursors Ag+ ions and natural organic matter (NOM). Surface-catalyzed reduction of Ag+ could describe the formation of AgNPs under various conditions. The redox species of iron (Fe(II)/Fe(III)) in the thermally induced processes enhanced the formation of AgNPs. Moieties of NOM, Ag–NOM complexes, and reactive oxygen species, ROS (e.g., \( {{\text{O}}_{2}}^{\cdot - } \)) were provoked to explain the formation of AgNPs. Stability studies on formed AgNPs from Ag(I)–NOM reaction mixtures have shown their stability for days to several months. However, cations of the natural waters such as Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ can destabilize the AgNPs. A preliminary investigation on the toxicity of AgNPs, formed in the mixture of Ag+-humic acid, suggests that lower minimum inhibition concentration against Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria compared to engineered AgNPs.

Keywords

Noble metals Natural nanoparticles Organic matter Stability Toxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

V.K. Sharma and R. Zboril acknowledge the support by the Operational Program Research and Development for Innovations-European Regional Development Fund (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0058). V.K. Sharma thanks the Program for the Environment and Sustainability.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program for the Environment and Sustainability, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public HealthTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Departments of Experimental Physics and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of SciencePalacký University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic

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