Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 2

Search results for: µ-XRF

2 Colocalization Analysis to Understand Yttrium Uptake in Saxifraga paniculata Using Complementary Imaging Technics

Authors: Till Fehlauer, Blanche Collin, Bernard Angeletti, Andrea Somogyi, Claire Lallemand, Perrine Chaurand, Cédric Dentant, Clement Levard, Jerome Rose


Over the last decades, yttrium (Y) has gained importance in high-tech applications. It is an essential part of alloys and compounds used for lasers, displays, or cell phones, for example. Due to its chemical similarities with the lanthanides, Y is often considered a rare earth element (REE). Despite their increased usage, the environmental behavior of REEs remains poorly understood. Especially regarding their interactions with plants, many uncertainties exist. On the one hand, Y is known to have a negative effect on root development and germination, but on the other hand, it appears to promote plant growth at low concentrations. In order to understand these phenomena, a precise knowledge is necessary about how Y is absorbed by the plant and how it is handled once inside the organism. Contradictory studies exist, stating that due to a similar ionic radius, Y and the other REEs might be absorbed through Ca²⁺-channels, while others suspect that Y has a shared pathway with Al³⁺. In this study, laser ablation coupled ICP-MS, and synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (µXRF, beamline Nanoscopium, SOLEIL, France) have been used in order to localize Y within the plant tissue and identify associated elements. The plant used in this study is Saxifraga paniculata, a rugged alpine plant that has shown an affinity for Y in previous studies (in prep.). Furthermore, Saxifraga paniculata performs guttation, which means that it possesses phloem sap secreting openings on the leaf surface that serve to regulate root pressure. These so-called hydathodes could provide special insights in elemental transport in plants. The plants have been grown on Y doped soil (500mg/kg DW) for four months. The results showed that Y was mainly concentrated in the roots of Saxifraga paniculata (260 ± 85mg/kg), and only a small amount was translocated to the leaves (10 ± 7.8mg/kg). µXRF analysis indicated that within the root transects, the majority of Y remained in the epidermis and hardly penetrated the stele. Laser ablation coupled ICP-MS confirmed this finding and showed a positive correlation in the roots between Y, Fe, Al, and to a lesser extent Ca. In the stem transect, Y was mainly detected in a hotspot of approximately 40µm in diameter situated in the endodermis area. Within the stem and especially in the hotspot, Y was highly colocalized with Al and Fe. Similar-sized Y hotspots have been detected in/on the leaves. All of them were strongly colocalized with Al and Fe, except for those situated within the hydathodes, which showed no colocalization with any of the measured elements. Accordingly, a relation between Y and Ca during root uptake remains possible, whereas a correlation to Fe and Al appears to be dominant in the aerial parts, suggesting common storage compartments, the formation of complexes, or a shared pathway during translocation.

Keywords: laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), Phytoaccumulation, Rare earth elements, Saxifraga paniculata, Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence, Yttrium

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1 Modification of a Natural Zeolite with a Short-Chain Quaternary Ammonium Salt in an Ultrasonication Process and Investigation of Its Ability to Eliminate Nitrate Ions: Characterization and Mechanism Study

Authors: Nona Mirzamohammadi, Bahram Nasernejad


This work mainly focuses on studying the mechanism governing the adsorption of tetraethylammonium bromide, a short-chain quaternary ammonium salt, on the surface of natural zeolite and to characterize modified and raw zeolites in order to study the removal of nitrate anions from water. Natural clinoptilolite, as the most common zeolite, was chosen and modified in an ultrasonication process using tetraethylammonium bromide, subsequent to being contacted with NaCl solutions. FT-IR studies indicated a peak attributed to the stretching vibrations of the –CH₂ group in the molecule of tetraethylammonium bromide in the spectrum of the modified sample. Moreover, the SEM images showed some obvious changes in the surface morphology and crystallinity of clinoptilolite after being modified. Batch adsorption experiments show that the modified zeolite is capable of removing nitrate anions, and the predominant removal mechanism is suggested to be a combination of electrostatic attraction and ion exchange since the results from the zeta potential analysis showed a decrease in the net negative charge of clinoptilolite after modification, while bromide ions were detected in the modified sample in the µXRF analysis.

Keywords: adsorption, clinoptilolite, short-chain quaternary ammonium salt, tetraethylammoniumbromide, ultrasonication

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