Simple method for filtering gold and silver out of water.

 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Simple method for filtering gold and silver out of water. Reply with quote

A simple method for filtering gold and silver out of water with carbon nanotubes

Silver single crystals were facilely synthesized on a large-scale with good reproducibility in water at room temperature in the presence of carboxyl-functionalized carbon nanotubes, without any additional reducing agent/electrochemical reducing, microwave, sonication or irradiations.

Researchers in China and the UK developed an extremely simple "nanocarbon" method to produce Ag/CNT nanohybrids.

This process and the resulting nanomaterial could prove very useful for catalysis and chemical biology. Even more, this nanocarbon method can be used to reclaim silver and gold from wastes directly, implying that "nanocarbons touch a water solution and turn it into silver/gold" as Professor Chao Gao remarks. "Hence, it may be quite useful in environmental engineering and relevant areas" he says.
Dr. Gao is first author of a recent paper, titled "Facile and large-scale synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotube/silver nanocrystal nanohybrids" published in the May 26, 2006 online edition of Nanotechnology. Together with colleagues from the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in PR China, and the Sussex Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre in the UK, he developed a facile and efficient aqueous phase-based strategy to synthesize CNT/silver nanocrystal nanohybrids at room temperature.

Gao explains how their research produced several new findings:

No additional reducing agents are used, and only silver nitrate and CNTs are employed as raw materials, so our method can be named as "nanocarbon"
The produced silver nanocrystals are attached to CNT surface, resulting in Ag/CNT nanohybrids
The productivity of silver crystals can be significantly improved by grafting polymer(polyacrylic acid) on CNTs, and then the size of Ag nanocrystals can be controlled to some extent from 2 to 10 nm by the grafted polymer density
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) or double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs) show much higher silver productivity than multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)
Large-scale Ag/CNT nanohybrids can be easily obtained with good reproducibility
Gold single crystals can also be produced by this method.

by Michael Berger
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