Identification of platinum nanoparticles in road dust leachate by single particle inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
Journal article, 2018

Elevated platinum (Pt) concentrations are found in road dust as a result of emissions from catalytic converters in vehicles. This study investigates the occurrence of Pt in road dust collected in Ghent (Belgium) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Total Pt contents, determined by tandem ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS), were in the range of 5 to 79 ng g − 1 , comparable to the Pt content in road dust of other medium-sized cities. Further sample characterization was performed by single particle (sp) ICP-MS following an ultrasonic extraction procedure using stormwater runoff for leaching. The method was found to be suitable for the characterization of Pt nanoparticles in road dust leachates. The extraction was optimized using road dust reference material BCR-723, for which an extraction efficiency of 2.7% was obtained by applying 144 kJ of ultrasonic energy. Using this method, between 0.2% and 18% of the Pt present was extracted from road dust samples. spICP-MS analysis revealed that Pt in the leachate is entirely present as nanoparticles of sizes between 9 and 21 nm. Although representing only a minor fraction of the total content in road dust, the nanoparticulate Pt leachate is most susceptible to biological uptake and hence most relevant in terms of bioavailability.




Single particle ICP-MS

Road dust

Catalytic converters


K. Folens

Ghent university

T. Van Acker

Ghent university

E. Bolea-Fernandez

Ghent university

Geert Cornelis

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

F. Vanhaecke

Ghent university

G. Du Laing

Ghent university

Sebastien Rauch

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology

Science of the Total Environment

0048-9697 (ISSN)

Vol. 615 849-856

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry

Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences





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