Author(s): Rodd AL, Creighton MA, Vaslet CA, RangelMendez JR, Hurt RH,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Fine particles are under active consideration as alternatives to chemical dispersants for large-scale petroleum spills. Fine carbon particles with engineered surface chemistry have been shown to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions, but the environmental impacts of large-scale particle introduction to the marine environment are unknown. Here we study the impact of surface-engineered carbon-black materials on brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) as a model marine microcrustacean. Mortality was characterized at 50-1000 mg/L, and levels of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) were characterized at sublethal particle concentrations (25-50 mg/L). Functionalized carbon black (CB) nanoparticles were found to be nontoxic at all concentrations, while hydrophobic (annealed) and as-produced CB induced adverse effects at high concentrations. CB was also shown to adsorb benzene, a model hydrocarbon representing the more soluble and toxic low-molecular weight aromatic fraction of petroleum, but the extent of adsorption was insufficient to mitigate benzene toxicity to Artemia in coexposure experiments. At lower benzene concentrations (25-75 mg/L), coexposure with annealed and as-produced CB increased hsp70 protein levels. This study suggests that surface functionalization for increased hydrophilicity can not only improve the performance of CB-based dispersants but also reduce their adverse environmental impacts on marine organisms.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology