Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Coagulation; Drinking Water Treatment; Estuaries; LC-MS-MS; Microcystin; Single Particle ICP-MS


“The analysis of contaminants of emerging concern is critical to protecting environmental health. In the presented dissertation, two groups of contaminants of emerging concern were assessed using mass spectrometry methods: nanoparticles and algal and cyanotoxins.

Analysis of metal oxide nanoparticles in environmental matrices has been a challenging issue, as most traditional methods require complicated sample preparation methods or that can alter or destroy the nanoparticles in the system. Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS) methods were used to detect metal oxide nanoparticles in surface waters and their removal through drinking water treatment simulations while retaining all information regarding primary particles. Methods were developed to monitor titanium dioxide, cerium dioxide, zinc oxide, citrate-coated silver, and citrated-coated gold nanoparticles directly in surface water and water treated by multiple drinking water treatment methods. Results from these studies indicate that removal depends on the starting water quality, the surface of the nanoparticles, and the type of treatment employed.

Cyanotoxins, produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, are a group of contaminants of emerging concern at the freshwater-marine water continuum. Cyanotoxins and several marine algal toxins were analyzed by a direct injection liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) in estuary samples from the contiguous United States. Anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, domoic acid, and microcystins were detected in U.S. estuaries, indicating that cyanotoxins are transported to or produced in estuary systems”--Abstract, page iv.


Shi, Honglan
Loftin, Keith

Committee Member(s)

Ercal, Nuran
Liang, Xinhua
Nam, Paul Ki-souk



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


This work was supported by the Missouri Department for Natural Resources (MDNR) [award number 0045667, 2015] and PerkinElmer, Inc. by providing NexION 350D ICP-MS [number 00044422, 2013].


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Detection of zinc oxide and cerium dioxide nanoparticles during drinking water treatment by rapid single particle ICP-MS methods
  • Fate of nanoparticles during alum and ferric coagulation monitored using single particle ICP-MS
  • Cyanotoxin occurrence, relation with salinity, and potential recreational health risks in U.S. estuaries in the 2015 EPA national coastal assessment


xiv, 125 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2019 Ariel Renee Donovan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11871

Electronic OCLC #