Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Impact of Porous Media Grain Size on the Transport of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes



Nikolai Mattison, Denis O'Carroll, R. K. Rowe, Elijah Petersen


Nanomaterials possess unique physical, electrical and chemical properties which make them attractive for use in a wide range of applications. Through their use and eventual disposal, nanomaterials may ultimately be released into the subsurface environment and previous studies show that nanomaterials are hazardous to life. This study investigates the mobility of one important nanomaterial (multi-walled carbon nanotubes or MWNTs) through porous media. Particular focus is placed on the impact of varying mean collector grain size (d50) on MWNT retention. Results from one dimensional column experiments conducted under various physical and chemical conditions coupled with results of numerical modeling assess the suitability of traditional transport models to predict MWNT mobility. MWNTs were found to be mobile though porous media ranging from fine sand to silt. Findings suggest that a dual deposition model coupled with site blocking greatly improves model fits compared to traditional colloid filtration theory.
Environmental Science & Technology


multi-walled carbon nanotubes, MWNT, site blocking, grain size, dual deposition, mobility, subsurface, nanomaterial, nano-EH&S


Mattison, N. , O'Carroll, D. , Rowe, R. and Petersen, E. (2011), Impact of Porous Media Grain Size on the Transport of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes, Environmental Science & Technology, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 27, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021