Assessing the colloidal properties of engineered nanoparticles in water: case studies from fullerene C60nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes

Kai Loon Chen, Billy A. Smith, William P. Ball, D. Howard Fairbrother
2010 Environmental Chemistry  
Environmental context. The fate and bioavailability of engineered nanoparticles in natural aquatic systems are strongly influenced by their ability to remain dispersed in water. Consequently, understanding the colloidal properties of engineered nanoparticles through rigorous characterisation of physicochemical properties and measurements of particle stability will allow for a more accurate prediction of their environmental, health, and safety effects in aquatic systems.This review highlights
more » ... eview highlights some important techniques suitable for the assessment of the colloidal properties of engineered nanoparticles and discusses some recent findings obtained by using these techniques on two popular carbon-based nanoparticles, fullerene C 60 and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Abstract. The colloidal properties of engineered nanoparticles directly affect their use in a wide variety of applications and also control their environmental fate and mobility. The colloidal stability of engineered nanoparticles depends on their physicochemical properties within the given aqueous medium and is ultimately reflected in the particles' aggregation and deposition behaviour. This review presents some of the key experimental methods that are currently used to probe colloidal properties and quantify engineered nanoparticle stability in water. Case studies from fullerene C 60 nanoparticles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes illustrate how the characterisation and measurement methods are used to understand and predict nanoparticle fate in aquatic systems. Consideration of the comparisons between these two classes of carbonbased nanoparticles provides useful insights into some major current knowledge gaps while also revealing clues about needed future developments. Key issues to be resolved relate to the nature of near-range surface forces and the origins of surface charge, particularly for the reportedly unmodified or 'pure' carbon-based nanoparticles.
doi:10.1071/en09112 fatcat:mujhdnajqfbajiu7mvaibggfvu