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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Marine ecotoxicology impact of carbon nanotubes

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) consist of a single layer of carbon atoms rolled into a tube with a length of several μm and a diameter range from 0.4 to 3.0 nm. Their high aspect ratio, strength, light weight and electrical conductivity provide properties of great interest to industry. Consequently, SWCNTs are used in an ever increasing number of products and applications, such as polymer composites, electrical and electronic components and displays, batteries, catalysts and many more. At some stage during their product life cycle, carbon nanotubes are likely to enter the marine environment, either intentionally or as a result of wear and tear of materials or accidental spills. It is unclear how they will behave in the marine environment and whether they pose a threat to marine organisms. This project aims to apply a multidisciplinary array of techniques to address this important question.

This project is being conducted by Majed Al-Shaeri, supervised by Mark Hartl and funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia

Al-Shaeri, M., Ahmed, D., Mc Cluskey, F., Turner, G., Paterson, L., Dyrynda, E. A. & Hartl, M. G. J. (2013). Potentiating toxicological interaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes with dissolved metals. Environ. Toxicol. 32: 2701-2710.

Carbon nanotubes