Nanomaterial Fate and Speciation in the Environment (NanoFASE)

Nanogeosciences

Prediction of engineering nanomaterials (ENMs) fate in the environment is of paramount importance to allow assessment of potential environmental and human exposure as well as evaluate risks associated with it. In this context, the NanoFASE project focus on assessing release and fate of ENMs in the environment. As part of this project, the environmental distribution, concentration and speciation of nanomaterials are investigated. Indeed, such knowledge are needed in order to facilitate safe product design and include “nano-regulations” within the present Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) regulation.

The overarching objective of NanoFASE is to deliver an integrated Exposure Assessment Framework (protocols, models, parameter values, guidance) that:

  • Allows all stakeholders to assess the environmental fate of nano releases from industrial nano-enabled products
  • Is acceptable in regulatory registrations and can be integrated into the EUSES model for REACH assessment
  • Allows industry a cost-effective product-to-market process
  • Delivers the understanding at all levels to support dialogue with public and consumers.

In this project, our team is involved in the study of the behavior of relevant ENMs, such as CeO2, CuO and ZnO nanoparticles, in surface waters, soils and freshwater sediments. Several experimental setups and state-of-the-art analytical methods are used to investigate the fate of such ENMs (i.e. dissolution, homo/hetero-agglomeration, solid transformations) within the framework of two work packages, WP7: ENM fate and transport in terrestrial systems, and WP8: Environmental Behavior of ENM in Waters and Sediments.

This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 646002.