Competitive co-adsorption dynamics of viruses and dissolved organic matter to positively charged sorbent surfaces
Adsorption onto solid water interfaces is a key process governing the fate and transport of waterborne viruses. Although negatively charged viruses are known to extensively adsorb onto positively charged adsorbent surfaces, virus adsorption in such systems in the presence of negatively charged dissolved organic matter (DOM) as coadsorbate remains poorly studied and understood. This work provides a systematic assessment of the adsorption dynamics of negatively charged viruses (i.e., bacteriophages MS2, fr, GA, and Qj3) and polystyrene nanospheres onto a positively charged model sorbent surface in the presence of varying DOM concentrations. In all systems studied, DOM competitively suppressed the adsorption of the viruses and nanospheres onto the model surface. Electrostatic repulsion of the highly negatively charged MS2, fr, and the nanospheres impaired their adsorption onto DOM adlayers that formed during the toadsmption process. In contrast, the effect of competition on overall adsorption was attenuated for less-negatively charged GA and Q beta because these viruses also adsorbed onto DOM adlayer surfaces. Competition in MS2-DOM coadsorbate systems were accurately described by a random sequential adsorption model that explicitly accounts for the unfolding of adsorbed DOM. Consistent findings for viruses and nanospheres suggest that the coadsorbate effects described herein generally apply to systems containing negatively charged nanoparticles and DOM.