Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Behavior modification could ease concerns about nanoparticles

Date:
November 13, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an advance that could help ease health and environmental concerns about the emerging nanotechnology industry, scientists are reporting development of technology for changing the behavior of nanoparticles in municipal sewage treatment plants -- their main gateway into the environment.

Sewage treatment plants serve as the main gateway for nanoparticles to enter the environment.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In an advance that could help ease health and environmental concerns about the emerging nanotechnology industry, scientists are reporting development of technology for changing the behavior of nanoparticles in municipal sewage treatment plants -- their main gateway into the environment. Their study will be published in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Related Articles


Helen Jarvie from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and colleagues note that experts predict large increases in the production of nanoparticles -- particles less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair -- in the next decade. Manufacturers already use 2 million tons of nanoparticles each year in foods, cosmetics, medicines, and other consumer products. Studies have hinted that some nanoparticles could have adverse environmental health effects. Water discharged from sewage treatment plants is the major gateway for spread of nanoparticles to the aquatic environment. Scientists thus are focusing on how nanoparticles behave in wastewater and how that gateway might be closed off.

The study simulated (primary) sewage treatment to show that coating silica nanoparticles (similar to those used in ointments, toothpaste and household cleaners) with a detergent-like material made the nanoparticles clump together into the solid residue termed sewage sludge. Sludge often is stored in landfills or recycled as agricultural fertilizer. Uncoated nanoparticles, in contrast, stayed in the water and therefore remained in the effluent stream.

As the nanoparticles are simply too small to be visualized optically, the team used neutron scattering (at the UK's ISIS Facility) to view the sewage at the nano scale. The neutrons easily penetrate the sewage 'soup' and scatter strongly from the nanoparticles, allowing their aggregation behavior to be followed with time. The study demonstrates the potential for coating or otherwise changing the surface chemistry of nanoparticles to re-route their journey through sewage treatment plants, the scientists say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jarvie et al. Fate of Silica Nanoparticles in Simulated Primary Wastewater Treatment. Environmental Science & Technology, 2009; 43 (22): 8622 DOI: 10.1021/es901399q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Behavior modification could ease concerns about nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112085025.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, November 13). Behavior modification could ease concerns about nanoparticles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112085025.htm
American Chemical Society. "Behavior modification could ease concerns about nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112085025.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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