Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Ecotoxicology of Nanoparticles: Biota-Nanoparticle-Pollutant Interactions in aqueous systems - Comparison of Black Carbon and Carbon Nanotubes

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorB. Nowack
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorEnvironment
Broad Research Categories Hazard
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$148,201.00
Annual Funding$74,100.50
Funding SourceSwiss National Science Foundation
Funding Mechanism
Funding Sector
Start Year2008
Anticipated End Year2010


The aim of this work is to systematically quantify the interactions in a ternary system organism-nanoparticle-pollutant. The green algae Chlorella vulgaris will be used as a model organism, BC and CNT as nanoparticles, and the herbicide diuron as model pollutant. In a first step binary systems (particle-pollutant, particle-algae, algae-pollutant) will be studied and then the complexity will be stepwise increased to the algae-BC/CNT diuron system. Particles and algae will also be separated physically through dialysis membranes to separate the effect of reduced pollutant concentration by adsorption to BC/CNT from direct effects of NP on the algae. The research will advance our understanding of the effects of NP in natural systems by studying the complex interactions between the various players in the environment. By comparing the effects of combustion byproducts and engineered NP, the results will contribute to a realistic risk assessment of anthropogenic NP.