Multifunctional and recollectable carbon nanotube ponytails for water purification

Haitao Wang, Hanyu Ma, Wen Zheng, Dingding An, Chongzheng Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are promising nanomaterials that have the potential to revolutionize water treatment practices in the future. The direct use of unbounded CNTs, however, poses health risks to humans and ecosystems because they are difficult to separate from treated water. Here, we report the design and synthesis of carbon nanotube ponytails (CNPs) by integrating CNTs into micrometer-sized colloidal particles, which greatly improves the effectiveness of post-treatment separation using gravitational sedimentation, magnetic attraction, and membrane filtration. We further demonstrate that CNPs can effectively perform major treatment tasks including adsorption, disinfection, and catalysis. Using model pollutants such as methylene blue, Escherichia coli, and p-nitrophenol, we show that all the surfaces of individual CNTs in CNPs are accessible during water treatment. Our results suggest that the rational design of hierarchical structures represents a feasible approach to develop nanomaterials for engineering applications such as water and wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9426-9434
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 25 2014


  • carbon nanotube array
  • composite without polymeric binder
  • industrial wastewater
  • layered double hydroxide
  • layered double oxide
  • palladium nanoparticles
  • pathogenic microorganism


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifunctional and recollectable carbon nanotube ponytails for water purification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this