Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Hunting for engineered nanomaterials in the environment

August 6th, 2009

Hunting for engineered nanomaterials in the environment

Most environmental research related to nanomaterials has focused on their toxicity in idealized lab settings. But researchers are slowly shifting their lab methods to look for real nanomaterials in the environment, which is key for determining which nanomaterials to study, as well as where and how they might cause harm.

Last year, researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) demonstrated some early success: they traced titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles shed from the paint on building exteriors into soils nearby and possibly streams (Environ. Pollut. 2008, DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.08.004). The team used electron microscopy to detect the nanoparticles and bulk chemical analysis to confirm their presence. But finding the nanoparticles in the environment is just one part of the problem.

"The task that we have actually is to separate the particles from the surrounding background," says Frank von der Kammer of the University of Vienna. That's because some nanoparticles occur naturally or are shed from products that take advantage of a material's normal size—or "bulk" form. For example, a large amount of bulk TiO2 has been used for decades as a paint pigment and for other applications. This bulk form can release tagalong nanoparticles. The presence of either type of TiO2 in the environment could throw off measurements of the engineered nanoparticles.

American Chemical Society

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanosciences: Genes on the rack October 21st, 2016

Physicists use lasers to capture first snapshots of rapid chemical bonds breaking October 21st, 2016

Nanoparticle vaccinates mice against dengue fever October 21st, 2016

New perovskite solar cell design could outperform existing commercial technologies: Stanford, Oxford team creates high-efficiency tandem cells October 21st, 2016

Preparing for Nano

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012


Inspiration from the ocean: An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has developed a non-toxic, high-quality surface treatment for organic field-effect transistors October 18th, 2016

Silver nanoparticle concentration too low to be harmful in water supply, paper finds October 14th, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Mathematical nanotoxicoproteomics: Quantitative characterization of effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes: This research article by Dr. Subhash Basak et al. will be published in Current Computer-Aided Drug Design, Volume 12, 2016 September 2nd, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Exploding smartphones: What's the silent danger lurking in our rechargeable devices? New research identifies toxic emissions released by lithium-ion batteries October 21st, 2016

Study finds surface texture of gallium nitride affects cell behavior October 17th, 2016

Silver nanoparticle concentration too low to be harmful in water supply, paper finds October 14th, 2016

10 years of SAFENANO at the IOM October 10th, 2016

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project