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Water Science & Technology Vol 67 No 11 pp 2582–2586 © IWA Publishing 2013 doi:10.2166/wst.2013.167

Environmental implications and applications of carbon nanomaterials in water treatment

S. R. Chae, E. M. Hotze, A. R. Badireddy, S. Lin, J. O. Kim and M. R. Wiesner

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Department of Civil Engineering, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangwon-do 210-702, South Korea E-mail: jokim@gwnu.ac.kr


ABSTRACT

Carbon nanomaterials have been proposed as a basis for developing new technologies for photocatalytic oxidation and disinfection, improved membrane processes, adsorbents, and biofilm-resistant surfaces. This study details recent progress towards the development of these proposed applications. We explored the use of carbon nanomaterials such as fullerene C60, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for a range of new technologies including, degradation of a probe organic compound by in situ generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), new strategies for microbial disinfection, and the inhibition of biofilm development on membrane surfaces. The results show that the degradation of 2-chlorophenol by ROS produced microbial inactivation, and the mobility of the nanoparticle aggregates of the carbon nanomaterials all increased as suspensions were fractionated to enrich with smaller aggregates with sonication followed by successive membrane filtration.

Keywords: carbon nanomaterials; inhibition of biofilm development; microbial disinfection; reactive oxygen species


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