Some carbon nanotubes deplete beneficial microbes

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

click image to zoomTom CampbellRon Turco found that raw, non-functionalized, single-wall carbon nanotubes damage active microbiology in low-organic soils. Some types of carbon nanotubes used for strengthening plastics and other materials may have an adverse effect on soil microbiology and soil microbial processes, a Purdue University study shows.

Specifically, these raw, non-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes were shown to damage the active microbiology in low-organic soil. Ron Turco, a professor of agronomy, said many of the bacteria affected could be involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, which are critical processes to ensure a fully functional soil.

"There appears to be more negative potential on the active microbial population than we thought," said Turco, whose findings were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. "The as-produced materials could be a negative environmental situation if they are released into low-organic soils that could not absorb them."

Functionalized carbon nanotubes have modifications that create chemical or biological changes to the nanotubes. They're often used in medicines, and Turco's research showed they had no effect in high-organic or low-organic soils.

Non-functionalized single-walled nanotubes -- those lacking intentional surface alterations -- are being added to a variety of products during manufacturing because they can strengthen the material without adding much weight. Nanotubes contained in manufacturing waste products may find their way into wastewater treatment plants and bio-solids that result from water purification. Those bio-solids cannot be released into water, so they are often discarded by spreading on land, adding critically needed plant nutrients to soil.

"Land application of biosolids is standard procedure now," Turco said. "If any of that contains nanotubes, that could be a problem."

Single-walled nanotubes also didn't affect microbes in high-organic soils, Turco said, likely because organic materials are highly reactive. Organic materials may have reacted with the nanotubes, leaving them unable to affect microbes.

"We want to alert people to the fact that if you're going to apply these as part of a land-treatment program, you may want to focus on high-organic matter soils," he said.

It's also possible, though much less likely, that nanotubes could contaminate soil through accidental spills during a delivery, Turco said.

Next, Turco said he would look at the effects on plants and soils from other nanomaterials and nanometals that are being more widely used in products for different properties they convey, such as nanosilver for its disinfecting properties and nanoindium, which is used in electronics.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded the research.

Some types of carbon nanotubes used for strengthening plastics and other materials may have an adverse effect on soil microbiology and soil microbial processes, a Purdue University study shows.

Specifically, these raw, non-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes were shown to damage the active microbiology in low-organic soil. Ron Turco, a professor of agronomy, said many of the bacteria affected could be involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, which are critical processes to ensure a fully functional soil.

"There appears to be more negative potential on the active microbial population than we thought," said Turco, whose findings were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. "The as-produced materials could be a negative environmental situation if they are released into low-organic soils that could not absorb them."

Functionalized carbon nanotubes have modifications that create chemical or biological changes to the nanotubes. They're often used in medicines, and Turco's research showed they had no effect in high-organic or low-organic soils.

Non-functionalized single-walled nanotubes - those lacking intentional surface alterations - are being added to a variety of products during manufacturing because they can strengthen the material without adding much weight. Nanotubes contained in manufacturing waste products may find their way into wastewater treatment plants and bio-solids that result from water purification. Those bio-solids cannot be released into water, so they are often discarded by spreading on land, adding critically needed plant nutrients to soil.

"Land application of biosolids is standard procedure now," Turco said. "If any of that contains nanotubes, that could be a problem."

Single-walled nanotubes also didn't affect microbes in high-organic soils, Turco said, likely because organic materials are highly reactive. Organic materials may have reacted with the nanotubes, leaving them unable to affect microbes.

"We want to alert people to the fact that if you're going to apply these as part of a land-treatment program, you may want to focus on high-organic matter soils," he said.

It's also possible, though much less likely, that nanotubes could contaminate soil through accidental spills during a delivery, Turco said.

Next, Turco said he would look at the effects on plants and soils from other nanomaterials and nanometals that are being more widely used in products for different properties they convey, such as nanosilver for its disinfecting properties and nanoindium, which is used in electronics.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded the research.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Smooth Wall Grain Bins

Meridian’s SmoothWall bins are the ultimate storage bins, used to handle and store fertilizer, grain, feed and seed, and extend ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form