Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Effects of solution chemistry on the attachment of graphene oxide onto clay minerals


With the increasing production and wide application of graphene oxide (GO), the colloidal GO particles are released into soil and groundwater expectantly, where exists a large number of mineral particles. In addition, the porewater chemistry (e.g. organic acid, valence of cation) is a neglected but important aspect to comprehensively investigate the fate of GO. The interactions of GO with three ubiquitous clay minerals (i.e. montmorillonite, kaolinite and diatomite) have been systematically investigated through batch experiments across a wide range of solution chemistries. In general, the affinity towards GO is in the order of montmorillonite > kaolinite > diatomite on the same experiment condition. This observation can be explained by characteristics of different clay mineral, such as surface charge and surface area. The results indicated that increasing ionic strength or decreasing pH enhanced the attachment of GO nanoparticles onto clay minerals, as a result of electrostatic interactions. With increasing concentration of Ca2+, more GO particles were attached onto clay mineral particles. This is caused by complexing with the surface oxygen functional groups of both GO nanoparticles and clay minerals. The presence of 0.1 mM tartaric acid significantly inhibited the attachment of GO on clay minerals. This is possibly linked to the increased negative charges by organic acids and the competition between organic acids and GO. The interaction energies were also calculated by applying the classical DLVO theory. The results of this study help to understand the behavior and fate of GO in subsurface formations.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 19 Oct 2018, accepted on 07 Jan 2019 and first published on 07 Jan 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00480C
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2019, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Effects of solution chemistry on the attachment of graphene oxide onto clay minerals

    Z. Qi, X. Lu, T. Lu, H. zhang, Z. Shang, J. Chen, Y. Wang, D. Li and Y. Zhou, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00480C

Search articles by author