Impact of density of coating agent on antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticle impregnated plasma treated activated carbon

Pritam Biswas , Rajdip Bandyopadhyaya


Received May 19, 2017,Revised January 01, 1900, Accepted August 15, 2017, Available online August 30, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 136-144

To use stabilized nanoparticles (NPs) in water as disinfectants over a very long period, the amount of coating agent (for NP stabilization) needs to be optimized. To this end, silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) with two different coating densities of tri-sodium citrate (12.05 and 46.17 molecules/nm2, respectively), yet of very similar particle size (29 and 27 nm, respectively) were synthesized. Both sets of citrate capped NPs were then separately impregnated on plasma treated activated carbon (AC), with similar Ag loading of 0.8 and 0.82 wt.%, respectively. On passing contaminated water (containing 104 CFU Escherichia coli/mL of water) through a continuous flow-column packed with Ag/AC, zero cell concentration was achieved in 22 and 39 min, with Ag-NPs (impregnated on AC, named as Ag/AC) having lower and higher coating density, respectively. Therefore, even on ensuring similar Ag-NP size and loading, there is a significant difference in antibacterial performance based on citrate coating density in Ag/AC. This is observed in lower coating density case, due to both: (i) higher Ag+ ion release from Ag-NP and (ii) stronger binding of individual Ag-NPs on AC. The latter ensures that, Ag-NP does not detach from the AC surface for a long duration. TGA-DSC shows that Ag-NPs with a low coating density bind to AC with 4.55 times higher adsorption energy, compared to Ag/AC with a high coating density, implying stronger binding. Therefore, coating density is an important parameter for achieving higher antibacterial efficacy, translating into a faster decontamination rate in experiments, over a long period of flow-column operation.

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