Monolithic Solid Based on Single-Walled Carbon Nanohorns: Preparation, Characterization, and Practical Evaluation as a Sorbent
Volatile organic compounds
Single-walled carbon nanohorns
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A monolithic solid based solely on single walled carbon nanohorns (SWNHs) was prepared without the need of radical initiators or gelators. The procedure involves the preparation of a wet jelly-like system of pristine SWNHs followed by slow drying (48 h) at 25 C. As a result, a robust and stable porous network was formed due to the interaction between SWNHs not only via - and van der Waals interactions, but also via the formation of carbon bonds similar to those observed within dahlia aggregates. Pristine SWNHs and the SWNH monolith were characterized by several techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and nitrogen intrusion porosimetry. Taking into account the efficiency of carbon nanoparticles in sorption processes, the potential applicability of the SWNH-monolith in this research field was explored using toluene; m-, p-, and o-xylene; ethylbenzene; and styrene, as target analytes. Detection limits were 0.01 g L�����1 in all cases and the inter-day precision was in the interval 7.4–15.7%. The sorbent performance of the nanostructured monolithic solid was evaluated by extracting the selected compounds from different water samples with recovery values between 81.5% and 116.4%.