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EU Project Tests Nanoparticles for Large-Scale Pollution Removal in Soil and Water

In the remediation, or clean up, of pollution in soil and groundwater, special nanoparticles are increasingly used to convert and break down pollutants in a site. The process, often somewhat mistakenly described as “nano-remediation”, can also be used with contaminants that have been hard to fight up to now, for example heavy metals or the notorious, carcinogenic softener PCB.

Yet how do the various nanoparticles behave in the earth, are they in turn harmless for humans and the environment and how can they be produced at a favourable price? These questions were investigated by scientists from the Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation (VEGAS) of the University of Stuttgart together with 27 partners from 13 countries in the framework of EU project “NanoRem”, planned to last four years. For this purpose the European Union is providing around 10.5 million Euros from the 7th research framework programme.

Nanotechnologies are particularly suited for treating groundwater aquifers but also contaminated soil at the site of the contamination (in situ). However, in remediation projects (reclamation of contaminated sites), they have only been used hesitantly since an effective and reliable application is not yet mature, the potential risks for the environment difficult to assess and nano-remediation in addition comparatively expensive due to the still high manufacturing costs of nanoparticles. The nanotechnology, however, offers advantages: compared to the classic remediation processes, such as “Pump & Treat“ (pumping off contaminated groundwater and cleaning it in a treatment plant) or chemical, resp. microbiological in-situ remediation processes, the range of “treatable” contaminants is greater.

For the full article use the link below ... ...

Science World Report

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/7975/20130705/eu-project-tests-nanoparticles-large-scale-pollution-removal-soil-water.htm