Navigation Links
Making sure the wonder materials don't become the wonder pollutant
Date:4/8/2008

Carbon nanotubes are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, yet stronger than steel and more durable than diamonds. They conduct heat and electricity with efficiency that rivals copper wires and silicon chips, with possible uses in everything from concrete and clothes to bicycle parts and electronics. The have been hailed as the next wonder material for what could become a multi-billion dollar manufacturing industry in the 21st century.

But as useful as nanotubes may be, the process of making them may have unintentional and potentially harmful impacts on the environment. MIT/WHOI graduate student Desire Plata and her mentorschemists Phil Gschwend of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Chris Reddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutionrecently analyzed ten commercially made carbon nanotubes to identify the chemical byproducts of the manufacturing process and to help track them in the environment.

Plata found that the ten different carbon nanotubes had vastly different compositions; most previous toxicity studies have generally assumed that all nanotubes are the same. This diversity of chemical signatures will make it harder to trace the impacts of carbon nanotubes in the environment

In previous work (first presented last fall), Plata and colleagues found that the process of nanotube manufacturing produced emissions of at least 15 aromatic hydrocarbons, including four different kinds of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) similar to those found in cigarette smoke and automobile tailpipe emissions. They also found that the process was largely inefficient: much of the raw carbon went unconsumed and was vented into the atmosphere.

The new research by Plata et al was published April 3 on the web site of the journal Nanotechnology. In the next phase of Platas work, she will collect real-time data from a European nanotube manufacturing facility that is poised to let her set up the same monitors she used in the MIT lab.

It is the indiscriminant use of poorly understood chemicals that causes environmental and public health costs, Plata said. We want to work proactively with the carbon nanotube industry to avoid repeating environmental mistakes of the past. Instead of reacting to problems, we hope to preclude them altogether.

Plata was honored in February for her nanotube work by the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, which selected her as a winner of one of its 2008 Graduate Student Paper Awards.


'/>"/>

Contact: Media Relations
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. LSU scientist finds evidence of rain-making bacteria
2. Is that sea otter stealing your lunch -- or making it?
3. Making sense of antisense microRNAs
4. GBIF making the search for biodiversity research resources easier
5. Another type of nanotube, a how-to guide to making bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes
6. Coal and black liquor can produce energy from papermaking
7. Lensless camera uses X-rays to view nanoscale materials and biological specimens
8. Sea cliff erosion, hemp construction materials and more at UCSD Engineering Conference
9. Purdue researchers obtain a snapshot clarifying how materials enter cells
10. Scientists discover record-breaking hydrogen storage materials for use in fuel cells
11. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... ARLINGTON, Va. , June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... a leading developer and supplier of face and ... the ATA Featured Product provider program. ... created an innovative way to monitor a driver,s ... benefit greatly from being able to detect fatigue ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation ... officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first 30 ... and the USA . The technology was developed and ... by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro ... Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The ... three Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young ... Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze ... pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal ... the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: