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Clay Minerals Affect the Stability of Surfactant-Facilitated Carbon Nanotube Suspensions

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2008, 00:00 by Zhantao Han, Fawang Zhang, Daohui Lin, Baoshan Xing
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), because of their wide application, will inevitably enter aquatic systems, but the fate and transport of their suspensions in the environment are largely unknown. Clay minerals are expected to interact with CNT suspensions, affecting their fate and bioavailability. This study investigated the influence of clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite) on the stability of surfactant (SDBS, CTAB, and TX100) facilitated multiwalled CNT (MWCNT) suspensions. Adsorption of the surfactants by MWCNTs and clay minerals was also examined. This is a first study on the interaction between clay minerals and surfactant-CNT suspensions. Sorption of SDBS by clay minerals and MWCNTs followed the order MWCNTs ≫ montmorillonite ≈ kaolinite; but sorption of CTAB and TX100 followed the order montmorillonite > MWCNTs > kaolinite. For SDBS suspended MWCNTs, introduction of montmorillonite and kaolinite could not change their stability; for CTAB suspended MWCNTs, both montmorillonite and kaolinite greatly deposited the suspended MWCNTs; for TX100 suspended MWCNTs, montmorillonite could partially deposit the suspended MWCNTs, whereas kaolinite showed minimal effect. Two mechanisms of clay minerals affecting MWCNT suspensions are (1) removal of surfactants by clay minerals from solution and MWCNT surface and (2) bridging between clay mineral and MWCNTs by surfactant.