Effect of the size on the aggregation and sedimentation of graphene oxide in seawaters with different salinities

  • Guanghui DingEmail author
  • Nannan Zhang
  • Chunchao Wang
  • Xueyao Li
  • Jing Zhang
  • Wanran Li
  • Ruijuan Li
  • Zhanning Yang
Research Paper


Graphene oxide (GO) with different sizes is inevitably released into the water environment during its production, use, and disposal. Aggregation and sedimentation would occur when GO entered into the water with high ionic strength. However, the environmental behavior and fate of GO in the coastal water are not well known. Therefore, in the present study, the aggregation and sedimentation of GO nanosheets with different sizes in seawater with different salinities were investigated. GO nanosheets with different sizes were prepared by the ultrasonic pulverization. Compared to original GO, the ultrasonically pulverized GO was more stably dispersed in deionized water. In artificial seawater, the aggregation–sedimentation process became more intense with increasing GO concentration and salinity. With the decrease of the GO nanosheet size, the aggregation–sedimentation rate increased, while the critical aggregation and sedimentation salinity decreased. As GO could deposit in wide coastal waters, which might cause potential ecological risks to marine benthic organisms, its environmental behavior, fate, and ecological risks in the coastal water should be further investigated.


Graphene oxide Size Aggregation Sedimentation Salinity Environmental effects 


Funding information

This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51479016), the Startup Foundation for Doctoral Scientific Research of Liaoning Province (20170520368), and the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (20180510004).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianChina
  2. 2.College of Environment and Chemical TechnologyDalian UniversityDalianChina

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