(20a) Removal of Humic Acid in Drinking Water Treatment Using Gold Nanoparticles

Stretz, H. A., Tennessee Technological University
Pallem, V., Tennessee Technological University
Wells, M. J. M., Tennessee Technological University
Ma, X., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Bouchard, D., USEPA National Exposure Research Laboratory

Activated carbon is used in drinking water treatment processes for removing DOM (dissolved organic matter) and other pollutants. However, the DOM fouling of activated carbon interferes with the removal of pollutants. Gold nanoparticles with core sizes 10 and 50 nm were found in our early work to cause dissociation of humic acid aggregates into smaller molecules in environmental pH conditions. Such HA molecules may potentially be adsorbed on activated carbon facilitating improved removal of HA. The current study presents dynamic light scattering size and zeta potential results indicating the break-up of humic acid aggregates in the presence of citrate-coated gold nanoparticles (CT-GNPs). The current research indicates potential for application of CT-GNPs in industrial processes such as drinking water purification.