Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Hopkins Engineer, Chemist Examine Impact of Carbon Nanotubes in Aquatic Environments

Oxidized carbon nanotubes with sorbates. Credit: Ball Lab / JHU
Oxidized carbon nanotubes with sorbates. Credit: Ball Lab / JHU

Abstract:
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)—which resemble tiny rolls of chicken wire—are used in electronics, optics and other products because of their unusual strength and electrical conductivity. CNT's are also being used for drug delivery. But an engineer and a chemist affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology have teamed up to study the ways that nanotubes could transport harmful toxins in aquatic environments.

Hopkins Engineer, Chemist Examine Impact of Carbon Nanotubes in Aquatic Environments

Baltimore, MD | Posted on October 28th, 2008

William Ball, professor of environmental engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, and Howard Fairbrother, professor of chemistry in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, received two separate grants from the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of surface oxides on the behavior of carbon nanotubes and their influence on the mobility of contaminants in aquatic environments.

"When people or animals drink—or otherwise process—water that has been contaminated by CNTs, they may receive the toxins as well as the CNTs," says Ball. "Retention and toxicity of the CNT-bound chemicals is still unclear, but the retained chemicals and/or the CNTs themselves may cause harm and can also propagate further up the food chain."

The team will study how the surface chemistry of CNTs-namely the oxygen-containing functional groups (surface oxides) on the nanotubes—influence the material's ability to grab onto, transport, and release organic and inorganic pollutants and metals in lakes, streams and oceans, making the carbon nanotubes behave like a "Trojan Horse."

Part of the study will rely on models based on what is already known about the interaction of oxidized CNT surfaces and toxins. In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology in March 2008, Ball and Fairbrother investigated how surface oxides influenced the adsorption of Naphthalene on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (See reference below). Naphthalene is a common ingredient in mothballs, and exposure to high concentrations of the chemical can damage or destroy red blood cells.

In the experimental phase, the team will oxidize fresh CNTs with nitric acid to mimic the modifications used to purify and functionalize this carbon-based material. Next, the CNTs will be added to columns of silica or sand, and solutions containing organic compounds or metal ions will be flowed through. The liquid that flows out the other end of the column will be collected and analyzed. Testing will occur under different pHs and concentrations of dissolved organic matter, to represent aquatic environments.

These results, Ball says, will be further analyzed in light of appropriate theoretical models, as well as to experimental data about the sorption properties of the carbon nanotubes for various chemicals and the surface-surface interactions among and between CNTs and other materials.

To learn more about the participating Labs visit the profiles in the INBT Faculty Finder.

* Ball Lab
* Fairbrother Lab

Reference
Influence of Surface Oxides on the Adsorption of Naphthalene onto Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes. Cho, Hyun-Hee, Smith, Billy A., Wnuk, Joshua D., Fairbrother, D. Howard, and Ball, William P. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42, 8, 2899 - 2905, 2008, 10.1021/es702363e

Story by Mary Spiro

####

About Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT)
The Institute for NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins University is revolutionizing health care by bringing together internationally renowned expertise in medicine, engineering, the sciences, and public health to create new knowledge and groundbreaking technologies.

INBT programs in research, education, outreach, and technology transfer are designed to foster the next wave of nanobiotechnology innovation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
* Institute for NanoBioTechnology
214 Maryland Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

* Email:
* Phone: (410) 516-3423
* Fax: (410) 516-2355

Mary Spiro

Copyright © Institute for NanoBioTechnology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-AAT for Treatment of Alpha-1 Liver Disease February 22nd, 2018

MEMS chips get metatlenses: Combining metasurface lenses with MEMS technology could add high-speed scanning and enhance focusing capability of optical systems February 21st, 2018

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected February 21st, 2018

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy: Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time January 11th, 2018

Touchy nanotubes work better when clean: Rice, Swansea scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices January 4th, 2018

Paving the way for a non-electric battery to store solar energy: UMass Amherst scientists say a polymer chain organized like a string of Christmas lights assists energy storage December 22nd, 2017

Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue: Rice University scientists, engineers develop microfluidic devices, microelectrodes for gentle implantation December 19th, 2017

Announcements

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-AAT for Treatment of Alpha-1 Liver Disease February 22nd, 2018

MEMS chips get metatlenses: Combining metasurface lenses with MEMS technology could add high-speed scanning and enhance focusing capability of optical systems February 21st, 2018

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected February 21st, 2018

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Environment

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals December 20th, 2017

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

How harmful are nano-copper and anti-fungal combinations in the waterways? October 27th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project