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Environ Pollut. 2013 Oct;181:271-86. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.06.009. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Carbon black vs. black carbon and other airborne materials containing elemental carbon: physical and chemical distinctions.

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1
Gradient, 20 University Road, Suite 5, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. clong@gradientcorp.com

Abstract

Airborne particles containing elemental carbon (EC) are currently at the forefront of scientific and regulatory scrutiny, including black carbon, carbon black, and engineered carbon-based nanomaterials, e.g., carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, and graphene. Scientists and regulators sometimes group these EC-containing particles together, for example, interchangeably using the terms carbon black and black carbon despite one being a manufactured product with well-controlled properties and the other being an undesired, incomplete-combustion byproduct with diverse properties. In this critical review, we synthesize information on the contrasting properties of EC-containing particles in order to highlight significant differences that can affect hazard potential. We demonstrate why carbon black should not be considered a model particle representative of either combustion soots or engineered carbon-based nanomaterials. Overall, scientific studies need to distinguish these highly different EC-containing particles with care and precision so as to forestall unwarranted extrapolation of properties, hazard potential, and study conclusions from one material to another.

KEYWORDS:

Black carbon; Carbon black; Elemental carbon; Nanomaterial; Soot

PMID:
23850403
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2013.06.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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