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Nanoremediation: Information for Decision Makers from NanoRem

Thematic Page 3: Implementation Issues for Using Nanoparticles in Remediation


1. Aim

2. Introduction

3. Quality Assurance/Quality Control Issues

4.  Relative Cost of Nanoremediation

5. Ease of Use

6. Hazards from nZVI Handling in Remediation

7. NanoRem Activities

8. Additional Resources on the NanoRem Web Site

9. Feedback and Opinions

1 Aim

The aim of this page is to highlight the specific implementation issues affecting the application of nanoremediation of contaminated groundwater. More detailed information is available from the NanoRem Tool Box (http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/index.aspx#TB1).

2 Introduction

As with all other in situ remedial technologies, the successful implementation of nanoremediation is dependent upon:

  • Good site characterisation
  • The development of a robust site conceptual model
  • Good remedial design with clear objectives
  • Good implementation of technology on site
  • Experienced field operatives
  • A good system of quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)

 A full list of the operating parameters that should be considered can be found the application guidance in the NanoRem Tool Box (http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/nanoparticles_and_tools.aspx#TB1).

3 Quality Assurance/Quality Control Issues

Nanoparticles are highly reactive and their properties are not static but change over time. The result of this is that the handling, environmental stability and contamination issues (e.g. retention in pore spaces) associated with bulk products tend to be of considerably more importance for nanoparticles compared to other chemical agents used in in situ remediation. For example, nZVI particles manufactured well in advance of the injection time may experience loss of reactivity. Site operatives should therefore confirm the provenance of nanoparticles prior to injection.

4 Relative Cost of Nanoremediation

As is the case with the majority of in situremediation technologies, the cost of the active reagent can be a relatively small proportion of the overall site budget, when site investigation, consultant and contractor labour, and analytical laboratory costs are considered.

Reliable cost and performance information for remediation technologies is a big demand from potential clients, but rarely available in a reliable way in the public domain.  Where it is available, the evidence base for pricing levels is not terribly transparent, and rarely technique specific, and so the reliability of this information is open to question.  Providing information available about nanoremediation costs was not a specific part of NanoRem’s field trials. However, surveys of cost information it has collated are presented in Section 6.4 of NanoRem DL9.2 “Final Exploitation Strategy, Risk Benefit Analysis and Standardisation Status” downloadable from the NanoRem Tool Box (http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/project-deliverables.aspx).

5 Application Guidance 

Detailed application guidance is available from the NanoRem Tool Box (http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/nanoparticles_and_tools.aspx#TB1).

6 Handling Nanoremediation Materials

Once manufactured, the most significant health and safety risks for people working with nanoparticles for nanoremediation occur during the transportation, handling, and injection of the nanoparticle slurries. If dry nanomaterials are delivered to site then the higher surface reactivity and surface-area-to-volume ratio of some nanopowders increases the risk of dust explosion. However, as stated previously, the majority of projects utilise nanoparticles delivered as slurries (or more recently as air-stabilised powders) so this issue does not generally arise.

Risks to human health and the environment from nanoparticles are mitigated by compliance with appropriate regulatory procedures, namely following procedures outlined in Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for countries where REACH regulations apply and in the USA (see: FAQ How safe is nanoremediation to use and what are the possible risks associated with it).

Safety data sheets nanoparticles tested in the field by NanoRem are available from http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/safety-data-sheet.aspx

7 Additional Resources on the NanoRem Web Site

Comprehensive resources are available from the NanoRem Tool Box, shown below (http://www.nanorem.eu/toolbox/index.aspx):







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Feedback and Opinions

We are interested in your opinions and your feedback on NanoRem's decision support information. If you have an opinion that you would like to share with us, or feedback about the information provided, please do get in touch. We are interested in all opinions and feedback, from specific technical points to policy or nontechnical issues. You can use the form below to do this. You may also use this form to seek further information from or co-operation with the NanoRem project.

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Taking Nanotechnological Remediation Processes from Lab Scale to End User Applications for the Restoration of a Clean Environment.
This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement No. 309517
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