Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have discovered that multi walled carbon nanotubes will remain suspended in water for a month or longer when combined with other organic materials. The January issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology , will fully report the findings by Assistant Professor Jaehong Kim, Professor Joseph Hughes, researcher John Fortner, and graduate student Hoon Hyung. However, the initial conclusion from the experiments is that multi walled carbon nanotubes are easily dispersed throughout the environment due to their extended suspension in river water. The nanotubes interacted with the organic material found in water from the Suwannee River, and as a result, remained suspended in the water. As reported by Georgia Tech, "Carbon nanotubes, which can be single- or multiwalled, are cylindrical carbon structures with novel properties that make them potentially useful in a wide variety of applications including electronics, composites, optics and pharmaceuticals."
This, of course, adds to the body of science regulators are looking to as the try to develop sound policy for governing nanotechnology. Check back for updates as the full report on the experiment is released.