Saf Health Work.  2011 Mar;2(1):65-69.

Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT) Dispersion and Aerosolization with Hot Water Atomization without Addition of Any Surfactant

  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2Toxicological Research Center, Hoseo University, Asan, Korea.


Carbon nanotubes are an important new class of technological materials that have numerous novel and useful properties. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), which is a nanomaterial, is now in mass production because of its excellent mechanical and electrical properties. Although MWCNTs appear to have great industrial and medical potential, there is little information regarding their toxicological effects on researchers and workers who could be exposed to them by inhalation during the handling of MWCNTs.
The generation of an untangled MWCNT aerosol with a consistent concentration without using surfactants that was designed to be tested in in vivo inhalation toxicity testing was attempted. To do this, MWCNTs were dispersed in deionized water without the addition of any surfactant. To facilitate the dispersion of MWCNTs in deionized water, the water was heated to 40degrees C, 60degrees C, and 80degrees C depending on the sample with ultrasonic sonication. Then the dispersed MWCNTs were atomized to generate the MWCNT aerosol. After aerosolization of the MWCNTs, the shapes of the NTs were examined by transmission electron microscopy.
The aerosolized MWCNTs exhibited an untangled shape and the MWCNT generation rate was about 50 mg/m3.
Our method provided sufficient concentration and dispersion of MWNCTs to be used for inhalation toxicity testing.


Multi-walled carbon nanotube; Aerosol generation; Ultrasonic dispersion; Inhalation; Surfactant
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