Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials The Answer?

Date:
July 10, 2009
Source:
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Summary:
Scientists have reviewed the use of nanomaterials for environmental cleanup. The authors conclude that the technology could be an effective and economically viable alternative for some current site cleanup practices, but potential risks remain poorly understood.

A new review article appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) co-authored by Dr. Todd Kuiken, a research associate for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), focuses on the use of nanomaterials for environmental cleanup. It provides an overview of current practices; research findings; societal issues; potential environment, health, and safety implications; and possible future directions for nanoremediation.

The authors conclude that the technology could be an effective and economically viable alternative for some current site cleanup practices, but potential risks remain poorly understood.

According to Dr. Kuiken, “Despite the potentially high performance and low cost of nanoremediation, more research is needed to understand and prevent any potential adverse environmental impacts, particularly studies on full-scale ecosystem-wide impacts. To date, little research has been done.”

In its 2004 report Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, the British Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering recommended that the use of free manufactured nanoparticles be prohibited for environmental applications such as remediation until further research on potential risks and benefits had been conducted. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) called for further risk research in 2005 while acknowledging environmental remediation technology as one of nanotechnology’s potential benefits.

Supplemental material published with the EHP review identifies 45 sites where nanomaterials have been used for soil and groundwater remediation, covering seven countries and 12 U.S. states. Most of the materials discussed are a form of nano-scale zero-valent iron that are injected into the ground in a slurry which provide a reducing environment that enables the breakdown of contaminants.

To coincide with the release of the EHP article, PEN has for the first time made publicly available an interactive, online map of global nanoremediation sites. The map shows which nanomaterials have been used where and includes detailed information on the contaminants treated and the nature of the treatment. It provides a unique source of information on the intentional release of nanomaterials into the environment to treat contaminated ground and water.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Barbara Karn, Todd Kuiken, and Martha Otto. Nanotechnology and In situ Remediation: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Risks. Environmental Health Perspectives, Online June 23, 2009 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0900793

Cite This Page:

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials The Answer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708160506.htm>.
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. (2009, July 10). Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials The Answer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708160506.htm
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials The Answer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708160506.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins