Carbon nanotubes for cleaning polluted water

  1. Credit: Department of Environmental Geosciences, University of Vienna

    Scientists found that by using filters made of carbon nanotubes, pollutants could be removed more effectively from contaminated water as compared to common charcoal filters. CNTs have a very large surface area (e.g., 500 m2 per gram of nanotube) that gives them a high capacity to retain pollutants such as water soluble drugs. A team at the University of Vienna found that at concentrations likely to occur in the environment, the tubes removed 13 tested Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated water. The results were recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. However, there are still many health and environmental questions to answer before such filters find their way into municipal water treatment plants. Learn more.

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