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The performance of the newly developed DGT technique for the platinum group elements (PGEs) rhodium (Rh), platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd) was evaluated in two tributaries of the Scheldt River:, the Marque River close to the city of Lille (France), and the Zenne River which flows through the city of Brussels (Belgium). In the Marque River, an interlaboratory comparison was performed between the two laboratories where the DGT techniques dedicated to PGEs were developed (AMGC, VUB & LASIRE, U-Lille). PGEs were also analysed in an effluent of a Brussels hospital and monthly grab sampling was performed at the wastewater treatments plants (WWTPs) of Brussels. The concentrations of the 3 elements are higher in the Zenne River than in the Marque River and much higher Pt concentrations are found in the hospital effluent. Good agreement for Pt was observed between the three selected chelating resins and a relatively good agreement was observed between the two laboratories using the same chelating resin, whereas lower results were observed with the anion-exchange resin. Larger discrepancies between the two laboratories were observed for Pd and no comparison could be made for Rh due to the low natural concentrations. The results show that in small urban rivers with high impact of urbanization, WWTPs are an important source of Pt, resulting from the use of anticancer drugs in hospitals and households. The limited retention of PGEs in WWTPs results in increased concentrations in urban rivers downstream. For Pd and Rh, similar trends were found with other traffic related elements such as Cu, Zn and Pb, showing the highest concentrations in waters collecting runoff from a highway. The data show that these elements, together with Gd, can be useful to trace specific pollution sources and their dispersion.
- Diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT)
- Platinum group elements (PGEs)
- River water
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BRGIMP19: BRIDGE 2019: SUBLIMUS – Becoming modern green urban alchemists: Gold and silver mining from Brussels urban sewage
1/03/19 → 30/06/22