Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) sorption behavior unaffected by the presence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in a natural soil system.

Research paper by Shibin S Li, Todd A TA Anderson, Micah J MJ Green, Jonathan D JD Maul, Jaclyn E JE Cañas-Carrell

Indexed on: 18 Apr '13Published on: 18 Apr '13Published in: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts


The batch equilibrium approach was used to examine the influence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) on the sorption behaviors of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study of PAH sorption to MWNTs in real natural soil systems. The sorption behavior of three PAHs (naphthalene, fluorene, and phenanthrene) in the presence of commercially available MWNTs in two natural soils (a sandy loam and a silt loam) and Ottawa sand was evaluated. Adsorption of PAHs by MWNTs in this study was three orders of magnitude higher than that of natural soils. Sorption coefficients of PAHs (Kd and Koc) were unchanged in the presence of 2 mg g(-1) MWNTs in soil (p > 0.05). A micro-mechanics approach, termed 'the rule of mixtures' was used for predicting PAH sorption behaviors in mixtures based on sorption coefficients derived from single sorbents. The equation, KT = KMα + KN(1 - α) (K, sorption coefficients, Kd or Koc), predicted sorption coefficients in a mixture based on mixture component sorption coefficients and mass fractions. Data presented in this study could be used to fill data gaps related to the environmental fate of carbon nanotubes in soil.