NanoRem Project Aims
NanoRem has the following objectives:
1. Identification of the most appropriate nanoremediation technological approaches that could achieve a step-change in practical remediation performance. Development of lower cost production techniques and production at commercially relevant scales, also for large-scale applications. Model systems (NPs + conditions mimicking real environmental conditions), both existing and novel, will be used to investigate mobility, reactivity (destruction, transformation or sorption of contaminants), functional lifetime and reaction products. Potential NP developments and optimisations will encompass size, surface chemistry, structure or formulations. The step-change focus will be to extend the range of practically treatable contaminants, to provide better engineering of mobility and stability, and to produce substantially cheaper and more sustainable NPs, and so widen the functional use of nanoremediation in practice.
2. Determination of the mobility and migration potential of nanoparticles in the subsurface, and their potential to cause harm, focusing on the NP types most likely to be adopted into practical use in the EU. This will assess any possible unintended secondary effects of NPs application on environment and ecosystems, and will consider both mobility in the subsurface and effects on potential ecological receptors (incl. surface waters).
3. Development of a comprehensive tool box for the design of nanoremediation operations, field scale nanoremediation performance and determination of the fate of NPs in the subsurface, including field measurement devices and methods, decision support tools and numerical models.
4. Provision of dissemination and dialogue with key stakeholder interests to ensure that research, development and demonstration meets end-user and regulatory requirements, and also that information and knowledge is shared widely across the Single Market and that advances in nanoremediation can be properly exploited. An important part of this work will be ensuring that research addresses real market and regulatory interests. It will be particularly important to be able to consider any potential risks from “unused” nanoparticles after their release into the subsurface (renegades), and to review the relative sustainability of nanoremediation over the life cycle of a typical remediation project.
5. Provision of tests at representative scales to validate cost, performance, and fate and transport findings. NPs will be applied into both large-scale contained laboratory systems and field applications, to provide on-site validation of the results on a representative scale both in terms of the effectiveness of nanoremediation as well as the environmental fate of the NPs and their associated by-products. All field tests within the project will be carried out within a risk management regime for nanoparticle release and subject to a qualitative sustainability assessment comparing nanoremediation with other remediation technologies.
To reach the ambitious goal of establishing nanotechnology as a remediation technology in Europe the NanoRem consortium is composed transnational, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral. It includes 28 partners from 12 countries organized in 11 work packages . The consortium includes 18 of the leading nanoremediation research groups in the EU, 8 industry and service providers (including 7 SMEs) and one organisation with policy and regulatory interests (Project Partners Listing). It also has an international Project Advisory Group (Project Advisory Group).