Applications for Nanomaterials in Water & Wastewater Treatment – A Review of the Current State of the Practice
J.M. Nielsen, M. Olthof, R. Adams and D. Mundt
ENVIRON International Corporation, US
remediation, water treatment, wastewater
The application of nanomaterials for water/wastewater treatment and environmental remediation is an emerging field, and there are many questions about the performance and cost of these technologies, as well as the possible toxicity and safety of engineered nanomaterials – both to humans and the ecology. In the context of remediation, the characteristics of nanomaterials which allow the nanoparticles to remain in suspension for extended periods of time can provide enormous flexibility for in-situ remediation. For water and wastewater, nanoparticles can be easily deployed in slurry reactors or used in fixed-media filters. For certain applications, including the use of nanoscale zero-valent iron to groundwater remediation, there is growing documentation of the performance and cost for these innovative technologies. However, for other emerging technologies, these data are limited as the technologies are just now being demonstrated in small scale applications. However, in the case of both the demonstrated innovative technologies and the emerging technologies, the understanding of the long-term residual environmental concerns associated with the deployment of engineered nanomaterials is limited. This presentation reviews the current state of the technology in terms of the efficacy of these treatment technologies, including both performance and cost. In addition, the potential long-term residual implications of applying nanomaterials into the environment are also reviewed in the context of the potential fate and transport of these materials and the health implications from exposure to these materials.
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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract