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Environ Pollut. 2009 Apr;157(4):1117-26. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.10.022. Epub 2008 Dec 6.

Estimating the relevance of engineered carbonaceous nanoparticle facilitated transport of hydrophobic organic contaminants in porous media.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Geosciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Naturally occurring nanoparticles (NP) enhance the transport of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) in porous media. In addition, the debate on the environmental impact of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) has become increasingly important. HOC bind strongly to carbonaceous ENP. Thus, carbonaceous ENP may also act as carriers for contaminant transport and might be important when compared to existing transport processes. ENP bound transport is strongly linked to the sorption behavior, and other carbonaceous ENP-specific properties. In our analysis the HOC-ENP sorption mechanism, as well as ENP size and ENP residence time, was of major importance. Our results show that depending on ENP size, sorption kinetics and residence time in the system, the ENP bound transport can be estimated either as (1) negligible, (2) enhancing contaminant transport, or (3) should be assessed by reactive transport modeling. One major challenge to this field is the current lack of data for HOC-ENP desorption kinetics.

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