Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 501-512

Size response of an SMPS–APS system to commercial multi-walled carbon nanotubes

  • Seung-Bok LeeAffiliated withCenter for Environmental Technology Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology
  • , Jun-Hyun LeeAffiliated withCenter for Environmental Technology Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology
  • , Gwi-Nam BaeAffiliated withCenter for Environmental Technology Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Email author 

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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are representative-engineered nanomaterials with unique properties. The safe production of CNTs urgently requires reliable tools to assess inhalation exposure. In this study, on-line aerosol instruments were employed to detect the release of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) in workplace environments. The size responses of aerosol instruments consisting of both a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) were examined using five types of commercial MWCNTs. A MWCNT solution and powder were aerosolized using atomizing and shaking methods, respectively. Regardless of the phase and purity, the aerosolized MWCNTs showed consistent size distributions with both SMPS and APS. The SMPS and APS measurements revealed a dominant broad peak at approximately 200–400 nm and a distinct narrow peak at approximately 2 μm, respectively. Comparing with field application of the two aerosol instruments, the APS response could be a fingerprint of the MWCNTs in a real workplace environment. A modification of the atomizing method is recommended for the long-term inhalation toxicity studies.

Keywords

Aerosol Atomizing EHS Inhalation exposure Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) Occupational health Shaking Size response