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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 5 (2004) pp 276-280

Nanoparticles in the Environment: Let’s Start at the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico!

Thomas J. Manning,*, Crystal Hardeman, Katie Olsen, Emily Rhodes, Render Parkman, Michael Land, Suzanne M. North, Kim Riddle, and Dennis Phillips§

Chemistry Department, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31698,; Electron Microscope Facility, Biology Department, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; and §Mass Spectrometry Facility, Chemistry Department, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Received March 11, 2004. Accepted July 14, 2004.

Published online: 2 Sepember 2004

Abstract. A procedure that details the isolation of inorganic nanoparticles from a sediment sample is outlined. This procedure is discussed in terms of a general chemistry laboratory. The demonstrated technique involves core sediment samples obtained from the Gulf of Mexico; samples were acquired from a deep-ocean drilling at a depth of 2500 meters. Several levels of identification of nanoparticles are used, including gravimetric analysis, which estimates the mass percent of inorganic nanoparticles in each sample. Because the procedure was conducted as an exploratory laboratory, inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP–AES) was used to measure the concentration of 27 elements in the samples. The additional use of electron microscopy (EM) further isolated and identified unusual geometric features. UV–vis absorbance spectroscopy and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–mass spectrometry (MALDI–MS) also facilitated the determination of detectable chlorophyll within samples.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; AA

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Issue date: October 1, 2004

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