Monitoring Engineered Nanoparticles in Water

Chemical analysis of environmental, drinking, and industrial water is the basis for assessment of water quality and pollution levels, hydrological studies, and monitoring of industrial processes. Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is routinely applied for elemental analysis of water. Along with dissolved metal ions, the more challenging analysis of particulate matter of natural and anthropogenic origin is also crucial. Single particle ICP-MS enables the elemental analysis of individual particles with very low concentration detection limits, making it an attractive method for monitoring and assessing the risk of manufactured nanoparticles in environmental waters. With its unique capability to simultaneously measure all elements in single particles, the icpTOF constitutes a promising tool for quantification and fingerprinting of nanoparticles in liquid samples.