Dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction of silver nanoparticles in water using ionic liquid 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate.

Research paper by Sha S Chen, Yuanjing Y Sun, Jingbo J Chao, Liping L Cheng, Yun Y Chen, Jingfu J Liu

Indexed on: 13 Mar '16Published on: 13 Mar '16Published in: Journal of Environmental Sciences


Using the ionic liquid (IL) 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate as the extractant and methanol as the dispersion solvent, a dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction method was developed to extract silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) from environmental water samples. Parameters that influenced the extraction efficiency such as IL concentration, pH and extraction time were optimized. Under the optimized conditions, the highest extraction efficiency for AgNPs was above 90% with an enrichment factor of >90. The extracted AgNPs in the IL phase were identified by transmission electron microscopy and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after microwave digestion, with a detection limit of 0.01μg/L. The spiked recovery of AgNPs was 84.4% with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 3.8% (n=6) at a spiked level of 5μg/L, and 89.7% with a RSD of 2.2% (n=6) at a spiked level of 300μg/L, respectively. Commonly existed environmental ions had a very limited influence on the extraction efficiency. The developed method was successfully applied to the analysis of AgNPs in river water, lake water, and the influent and effluent of a wastewater treatment plant, with recoveries in the range of 71.0%-90.9% at spiking levels of 0.11-4.7μg/L.