The effect of NOM preloading on the adsorption of phenanthrene (PNT) and trichloroethylene (TCE) by pristine graphene nanosheets (GNS) and graphene oxide nanosheet (GO) was investigated and comparedwith those of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT), a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and two coal based granular activated carbons (GACs). PNT uptake was higher than TCE by all adsorbents on both mass and surface area bases. This was attributed to the hydrophobicity of PNT. The adsorption capacities of PNT and TCE depend on the accessibility of the organic molecules to the inner regions of the adsorbent which was influenced from the molecular size of OCs. The adsorption capacities of all adsorbents decreased as a result of NOM preloading due to site competition and/or pore/interstice blockage. However, among all adsorbents, GO was generally effected least from the NOM preloading for PNT, whereas there was not observed any trend of NOM competition with a specific adsorbent for TCE. In addition, SWCNT was generally affected most from the NOM preloading for TCE and there was not any trend for PNT. The overall results indicated that the fate and transport of organic contaminants by GNSs and CNTs type of nanoadsorbents and GACs in different natural systems will be affected by water quality parameters, characteristics of adsorbent, and properties of adsorbate. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.