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Environ Sci Technol. 2006 Mar 15;40(6):1855-61.

Adsorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by carbon nanomaterials.

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  • 1Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


Carbon nanomaterials are novel manufactured materials, having widespread potential applications. Adsorption of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) by carbon nanomaterials may enhance their toxicity and affect the fate, transformation, and transport of HOCs in the environment. In this research, adsorption of naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene onto six carbon nanomaterials, including fullerenes, single-walled carbon nanotubes, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes was investigated, which is the first systematic study on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) sorption by various carbon nanomaterials. All adsorption isotherms were nonlinear and were fitted well by the Polanyi-Manes model (PMM). Through both isotherm modeling and constructing "characteristic curve", Polanyi theory was useful to describe the adsorption process of PAHs by the carbon nanomaterials. The three fitted parameters (Q0, a, and b) of PMM depended on both PAH properties and the nature of carbon nanomaterials. For different PAHs, adsorption seems to relate with their molecular size, i.e., the larger the molecular size, the lower the adsorbed volume capacity (Q0), but higher a and b values. For different carbon nanomaterials, adsorption seems to relate with their surface area, micropore volume, and the volume ratios of mesopore to micropore. Quantitative relationships between these sorbent properties and the estimated parameters of PMM were obtained. These relationships may represent a first fundamental step toward establishing empirical equations for quantitative prediction of PAH adsorption by carbon nanomaterials and possibly other forms of carbonaceous (geo-) sorbents, and for evaluating their environmental impact. In addition, high adsorption capacity of PAHs by carbon nanotubes may add to their high environmental risks once released to the environment, and result in potential alteration of PAHs fate and bioavailability in the environment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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