: Clean water is vital for healthy ecosystems, for human life and, in a broader sense, it is directly linked to our socio-economic development. Nevertheless, climate change, pollution and increasing world population will likely make clean water scarcer in the near future. Consequently, it becomes imperative to develop novel materials and more efficient ways of treating waste and contaminated water. Carbon nanotube (CNT) sponges, for example, are excellent in removing oleophilic contaminants; however, due to their super-hydrophobic nature, they are not as efficient when it comes to absorbing water-soluble substances. Here, by means of a scalable method consisting of simply treating CNT sponges at mild temperatures in air, we attach oxygen-containing functional groups to the CNT surface. The functionalized sponge becomes hydrophilic while preserving its micro- and macro-structure and can therefore be used to successfully remove toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, that are dissolved in water. This discovery expands the current range of applications of CNT sponges to those fields in which a hydrophilic character of the sponge is more suitable.

Synthesis of hydrophilic carbon nanotube sponge via post-growth thermal treatment

Camilli, Luca
;
Capista, Daniele;Eramo, Piergiorgio;D'Archivio, Angelo Antonio;Lazzarini, Andrea;Crucianelli, Marcello;Passacantando, Maurizio
2022

Abstract

: Clean water is vital for healthy ecosystems, for human life and, in a broader sense, it is directly linked to our socio-economic development. Nevertheless, climate change, pollution and increasing world population will likely make clean water scarcer in the near future. Consequently, it becomes imperative to develop novel materials and more efficient ways of treating waste and contaminated water. Carbon nanotube (CNT) sponges, for example, are excellent in removing oleophilic contaminants; however, due to their super-hydrophobic nature, they are not as efficient when it comes to absorbing water-soluble substances. Here, by means of a scalable method consisting of simply treating CNT sponges at mild temperatures in air, we attach oxygen-containing functional groups to the CNT surface. The functionalized sponge becomes hydrophilic while preserving its micro- and macro-structure and can therefore be used to successfully remove toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, that are dissolved in water. This discovery expands the current range of applications of CNT sponges to those fields in which a hydrophilic character of the sponge is more suitable.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/181753
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact