C60 fullerene soil sorption, biodegradation, and plant uptake

Raghavendhran Avanasi, William A. Jackson, Brie Sherwin, Joseph F. Mudge, Todd A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Assessments of potential exposure to fullerenes and their derivatives in the environment are important, given their increasing production and use. Our study focused on fate processes that determine the movement and bioavailability of fullerenes in soil. We evaluated the sorption, biodegradation, and plant uptake of C60 fullerene using 14C-labeled C60 solutions in water produced by either solvent exchange with tetrahydrofuran or sonication/extended mixing in water. Organic carbon appeared to have an important influence on C60 soil sorption. The log Koc values for 14C60 were equivalent for sandy loam and silt loam (3.55 log[mL/g]) but higher for loam (4.00 log[mL/g]), suggesting that other factors, such as pH, clay content and mineralogy, and cation exchange capacity, also influence C60 soil sorption. There was little 14CO2 production in the silt loam or the sandy loam soil after 754 and 328 days, respectively, suggesting high resistance of C 60 to mineralization in soil. Plant uptake was generally low (∼7%), with most of the uptaken 14C accumulating in the roots (40-47%) and smaller amounts of accumulation in the tuber (22-23%), stem (12-16%), and leaves (18-22%). Our results indicate that C60 released to the environment will not be highly bioavailable but will likely persist in soil for extended periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2792-2797
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 4 2014


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