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.

Interactions of 14C-labeled multi-walled carbo nanotubes with soil minerals in water



Liwen Zhang, Elijah Petersen, Wen Zhang, Yongsheng Chen, Miguel Cabrera, Qingguo Huang


One of the critical factors related to the environmental fate of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is their phase distribution between soil or sediment and water. To quantitatively understand the interaction between the model soil components and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), 14C-labeling was used to unambiguously quantify MWCNTs. Three types of typical clay minerals were chosen as the solid phase: kaolinite, smectite, and shale. Results showed that increasing sodium concentrations can strongly promote the sorption of MWCNTs by clay particles, and that this sorption ability inversely correlated with the clay particles' surface potential, and directly correlated with their hydrophobicity. The phase distribution of MWCNTs can be interpreted by the extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (EDLVO) theory for inorganic clay minerals kaolinite and smectite. Shale, an organic clay mineral, has stronger sorption ability than the inorganic clays, likely due to the insoluble organic molecules in shale that renders high associating affinity towards MWCNTs.
Environmental Pollution


Zhang, L. , Petersen, E. , Zhang, W. , Chen, Y. , Cabrera, M. and Huang, Q. (2012), Interactions of 14C-labeled multi-walled carbo nanotubes with soil minerals in water, Environmental Pollution, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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

Created March 1, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021