Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability: TechConnect Briefs 2015Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability TechConnect Briefs 2015

Water Technologies Chapter 8

Engineered Nanoparticles in the Environment: Their Fate, Transport and Interaction with Organic Pollutants

E. Sahle-Demessie, A. Zhao, H. Grecsek
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States

pp. 291 - 294

Keywords: nanomaterials, environmental implication, fate and transport

Nanotechnology has emerged as one of the leading fields in science having tremendous application in diverse disciplines. As nanomaterials become increasingly part of everyday consumer products, it is imperative to measure the potential release during production, use, and disposal, and assess their impact on human health and the ecosystem. This compels the research to better understand how the properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) lead to their accumulation and redistribution in the environment, whether they could become novel pollutants or if can affect the mobility and bioavailability of other toxins. This study is focused in understanding the influence of nanoparticles on the octanol-water partitioning organic pollutants. The suspended particles from the water phase were separated, and the adsorbed substances were analyzed using a combination of thermal-chromatographic- mass spectroscopic techniques. Sorption of hydrophobic organic pollutants to nano-particles increased the concentration of contaminants in the aqueous phase as compared to the "real" partitioning due to the octanol-water partitioning. The effects of nano-materials on the mobility of pollutants that are commonly found at many sites have been studied. These compounds include aromatic hydrocarbons, and two and three-ring polyaromatic hydrocarbons that have relatively small water solubility. The study will help us to understand the influence of nano-materials on contaminants fate and mobility in the aquatic environment.