Fate and transport of molybdenum disulfide nanomaterials in sand columns

Jacob D. Lanphere, Corey J. Luth, Linda M. Guiney, Nikhita D. Mansukhani, Mark C. Hersam, Sharon L. Walker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Research and development of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) (e.g., molybdenum disulfide [MoS2]) in electronic, optical, and catalytic applications has been growing rapidly. However, there is little known regarding the behavior of these particles once released into aquatic environments. Therefore, an in-depth study regarding the fate and transport of two popular types of MoS2 nanomaterials, lithiated (MoS2-Li) and Pluronic PF-87 dispersed (MoS2-PL), was conducted in saturated porous media (quartz sand) to identify which form would be least mobile in aquatic environments. The electrokinetic properties and hydrodynamic diameters of MoS2 as a function of ionic strength and pH were determined using a zeta potential analyzer and dynamic light scattering techniques. Results suggest that the stability is significantly decreased beginning at 10 and 31.6mM KCl, for MoS2-PL and MoS2-Li, respectively. Transport study results from breakthrough curves, column dissections, and release experiments suggest that MoS2-PL exhibits a greater affinity to be irreversibly bound to quartz surfaces as compared with the MoS2-Li at a similar ionic strength. Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory was used to help explain the unique interactions between the MoS2-PL and MoS2-Li surfaces between particles and with the quartz collectors. Overall, the results suggest that the fate and transport of MoS2 is dependent on the type of MoS2 that enters the environment, where MoS2-PL will be least mobile and more likely be deposited in porous media from pluronic-quartz interactions, whereas MoS2-Li will travel greater distances and have a greater tendency to be remobilized in sand columns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • effects of pH and ionic strength
  • molybdenum disulfide (MoS)
  • nanomaterials
  • pluronic coating
  • stability
  • straining
  • transport in packed bed column

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Fate and transport of molybdenum disulfide nanomaterials in sand columns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this