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Environ Sci Technol. 2008 May 1;42(9):3207-12.

Sorption of organic contaminants by carbon nanotubes: influence of adsorbed organic matter.

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


Sorption of three types of dissolved organic matter (DOM; i.e., humic acid, peptone and alpha-phenylalanine) by a mutiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT40) and sorption of phenanthrene (Phen), naphthalene (Naph), and 1-naphthol (1-Naph) by the original and DOM-coated MWNT40 were examined. Sorption data of Phen, Naph, and 1-Naph by all sorbents were fitted with Freundlich and Polanyi models. MWNT40 had nonlinear isotherms for all DOMs examined. Sorption of DOMs by MWNT40 followed the order peptone > humic acid > alpha-phenylalanine. The humic acid used in this study had much lower sorption for Phen, Naph, and 1-Naph than MWNT40, but its coating did not make striking changes on sorption of these compounds by MWNT40, suggesting that humic acid coating dramatically altered the physical form and surface properties of MWNT40. Peptone coating made the strongest suppression on sorption of Phen, Naph, and 1-Naph by MWNT40 among the three DOMs used, due to its highest sorption on MWNT40, thus causing a great reduction in accessibility of sorption sites. Polanyi modeling results showed that reduction in the maximum volume sorption capacity (Q0) of MWNT40 induced by DOM coating followed the order Phen < Naph < 1-Naph. 1-Naph was less hydrophobic than Phen and Naph but it had much higher sorbed volume (V(m)) than Phen and Naph at individual RT In(S(w)/C(e))/V(s)points for all sorbents. The correlation curve for the Polanyi model was applicable for sorption of aromatic compounds of similar structure by the original and DOM-coated carbon nanotubes.

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