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Environmental science & technology

Adsorption, Aggregation, and Deposition Behaviors of Carbon Dots on Minerals.


PMID 28463556

Abstract

The increased production of carbon dots (CDs) and the release and accumulation of CDs in both surface and groundwater has resulted in the increasing interest in their research. To assess the environmental behavior of CDs, the interaction between CDs and goethite was studied under different environmental conditions. Electrokinetic characterization of CDs suggested that the ζ-potential and size distribution of CDs were affected by pH and electrolyte species, indicating that these factors influenced the stability of CDs in aqueous solutions. Traditional Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory did not fit well the aggregation process of CDs. Results of the effects of pH and ionic strength suggested that electronic attraction dominated the aggregation of CDs. Compared with other minerals, hydrogen-bonding interactions and Lewis acid-base interactions contributed to the aggregation of CDs, in addition to van der Waals and electrical double-layer forces. Adsorption isotherms and microscopic Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy indicated that chemical bonds were formed between CDs and goethite. These findings are useful to understand the interaction of CDs with minerals, as well as the potential fate and toxicity of CDs in the natural environment, especially in soils and sediments.

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71063
Goethite, 30-63% Fe
HFeO2