Mobility of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil in the presence of carbon nanotubes.

Research paper by Shibin S Li, Uday U Turaga, Babina B Shrestha, Todd A TA Anderson, S S SS Ramkumar, Micah J MJ Green, Sriya S Das, Jaclyn E JE Cañas-Carrell

Indexed on: 31 Jul '13Published on: 31 Jul '13Published in: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety


Being a potential risk to the environment, a fate study of carbon nanotube (CNT) in the environment is urgently needed. A study of CNT impacts on the bioavailability of other conventional contaminants in a terrestrial system is particularly rare. This study explored PAH leaching behaviors in the presence of CNTs with column leaching tests. Four PAHs (Naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene), three CNTs (f-SWNTs, MWNTs, f-MWNTs), and a sandy loam soil were involved in this study. We found that at a concentration of 5mg/g, CNTs could significantly retain PAHs in soil. Such a strong PAH retention was caused by low mobilities of CNTs and their strong PAH sorption capacities. This study illustrated that the properties of both sorbents (e.g. available surface area and micropore volume) and sorbates (e.g. hydrophobicity and molecular volume) influenced the mobility of PAHs in soil.