Researchers from Wright State University and the University of Akron recently published a paper on the utilization of carbon nanotubes to treat trichloroethylene in groundwater.  Adsorption of chlorinated organics, such as trichloroethylene, on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been gaining ground as a remedial platform for groundwater treatment.  The paper lays out the nature of competing interactions at play in hybrid, membrane, and pure CNT-based systems and presents results with the perspective of existing gaps in design strategies.

In the paper, the researchers first discuss the current remediation approaches to TCE with an examination of forces contributing to adsorption of analogous contaminants at the molecular level.  The current approaches to remediating TCE include the use of activated carbon.

The paper discusses the results of TCE adsorption and remediation on pure and hybrid CNT systems and focuses on the specific nature of substrate and molecular architecture that would contribute to competitive adsorption.  Finally, the paper concludes that delineation of intermolecular interactions that contribute to efficient remediation is needed for custom, scalable field design of purification systems for a wide range of contaminants.