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Biodegradation of 14C-labeled Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes



Liwen Zhang, Elijah Petersen, Mussie Habteselassie, Qingguo Huang


Environmental transformations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) can change their environmental fate and is important to their life cycle assessment, but has not yet been fully investigated due to its high recalcitrance. We are reporting a bacterial consortium that is capable of mineralizing 14C-labeled MWCNTs into 14CO2; multiple intermediate products were also detected using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Genotypic characterization of the consortium through partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA revealed three possible degraders: Burkholderia kururiensis, Delftia acidovorans, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Furthermore, our study found that the use of MWCNTs as a sole carbon source did not result in the mineralization of MWCNTs as evidenced by absence of 14CO2 production, indicating an additional carbon source that is easily degradable is necessary in the biotransformation of MWCNTs. After degradation for 7d, the length distribution of the remaining MWCNTs did not change significantly. Additional research is required to further elucidate the transformation pathway.
Nano Letters


Zhang, L. , Petersen, E. , Habteselassie, M. and Huang, Q. (2013), Biodegradation of 14C-labeled Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Nano Letters, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created September 30, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021