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Influence of Acid Treatment of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes on the Sorption of U(VI) and on the Stability of Aqueous Suspensions

Schierz, A.; Zaenker, H.; Bernhard, G.


The unique properties of CNTs are being exploited in a growing number of products and applications [1]. The oxidation process is of great importance for CNT application since it is necessary for CNT purification and functionalization [2]. Acid treatment was recommended as a method of purification [2]. Additionally, the oxidation causes chemical and/or structural changes on CNTs which modify their properties.
Due to their hollow and nanosized structure the use of CNTs as adsorbent for pollutants such as dioxins and heavy metals such as Cd2+, Pb2+, Am3+ [3, 4, 5] for environmental remediation purposes has been considered. Different authors reported that CNTs treated with acid show a higher adsorption capacity for heavy metal ions and dioxins compared with other adsorbents such as activated carbon. These studies suggested that CNTs may be a promising adsorbent for use in environmental protection. The high cost of CNTs still limits their practical use. As these materials make their way to industrial and consumer products, their unintended release in the environment can not be excluded. However, not much research has been conducted to study the characteristics, the fate and behaviour of CNTs in the environment.
The aim of this study is gaining information on both the properties of the CNTs as a potential adsorbent material in water purification and the behaviour of the CNTs as potential carriers of pollutants in the case of their accidental release to the environment.

  • Contribution to proceedings
    NanoECO: Nanoparticles in Environment-Implications and Applications, 02.-07.03.08, Monte Verita, Schwitzerland
    Book of Abstracts, 127