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Long-term colloidal stability and metal leaching of single wall carbon nanotubes: effect of temperature and extracellular polymeric substances.

  • Author(s): Adeleye, Adeyemi S;
  • Keller, Arturo A
  • et al.

Long term (90 day) stability, aggregation kinetics in the presence and absence of natural organic materials (NOM), and metal leaching of five commercial single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in waters (e.g. freshwater, seawater, stormwater, wastewater, and groundwater) were studied, as well as the effect of temperature on SWCNT stability and metal leaching. Zeta (ζ) potential of SWCNT decreased in magnitude with increase in temperature. In wastewater, SWCNT sedimented from the water column to below detectable levels after 30 days when kept at 40 °C, but at 20 °C 19% suspension was still observed after the same exposure time. Addition of 0.1 mg-C L(-1) EPS shifted the critical coagulation concentration (CCC) of SRNOM-stabilized SWCNT from 15 mM to 54 mM NaCl via additional electrostatic and possibly steric stabilization. Attachment efficiencies (α) of SWCNT in waters ranged from ∼0.001 in DI with 10 mg L(-1) SRNOM to 1 in seawater. However, sedimentation of SWCNT in seawater (and other high ionic strength conditions) was not as fast as expected due to improved buoyancy and/or drag. Purified forms of SWCNTs exhibited better dispersibility and stability in most waters, but as expected, the total metal leached out was higher in the raw variants. Metal leaching from CNT in these studies was controlled by metal and water chemistries, CNT pretreatment, leachable metal fraction, exposure time, and presence of NOM.

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