Transformation and distribution processes governing the fate and behaviour of nanomaterials in the environment: an overview

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Analytical methods are currently challenged when it comes to detecting and quantifying nanomaterials in the environment. This leaves a gap between the present scientific state-of-the-art and the increasing demand for reliable measured or predicted environmental concentrations for environmental risk assessment. Chemical fate modelling is one approach to fill this gap within a short time frame. To ensure the reliability of predicted environmental concentrations informed choices are needed during model formulation and development. A major knowledge gap, hampering the further development of such model-based approaches, relates to the interplay between the nanomaterial physico-chemical properties, surrounding media/matrix composition and the underlying processes that determine particle behaviour. Here we identify and summarize key processes governing the fate and behaviour of nanomaterials in the environment. This is done through a critical review of the present state-of-knowledge. We describe the (photo)chemical, physical or biologically mediated transformation of manufactured nanomaterials due to degradation, aggregation, agglomeration, or through association with dissolved, colloidal or particulate matter present in the environment. Specific nanomaterials are used as case studies to illustrate these processes. Key environmental processes are identified and ranked and key knowledge gaps are identified, feeding into the longer-term goal of improving the existing models for predicted environmental concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Nanotechnology Conference 2015 : Conference abstracts
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationVenice, Italy
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSUN-SNO-GUIDENANO Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference 2015 - Venice, Italy
Duration: 9 Mar 201511 Mar 2015


ConferenceSUN-SNO-GUIDENANO Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference 2015

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