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NanoRem Project- Taking Nanotechnological Remediation Processes from Lab Scale to End User Applications for the Restoration of a Clean Environment

Nanotechnology for remediation, nanoremediation, offers a step‐change in remediation capabilities, enabling treatment of larger spectrum of contaminants, with a potential benefit to reduce the remediation time and costs and improve the overall effectiveness compared to traditional remediation approaches.

Aside from the high remedial potential, there are currently many obstacles preventing a full market entry of nanoremediation, such as concerns over the mobility, fate, and ecotoxicity of nanomaterials, and validation of full-scale ecosystem-wide performance.

NanoRem is a large-scale four years project, started in February 2013 and funded by the EU Commission 7th Framework Programme for Research (€ 10.4 million). The overarching aim is to overcome major obstacles for a widespread application of nanoremediation and to transfer this technology from the laboratory scale to end users.
The project gathers 28 partners from 13 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland) including universities, research institutions, and private companies.

Development of effective and lower-cost production of nanomaterials at commercial scales.
One of the project goals is to develop lower cost production techniques for nanomaterials and increase their production in quantities required for large‐scale applications. Furthermore, fate and performance of nanomaterials for remediation is still to be optimized. One of the project tasks is therefore to optimize nanomaterials towards controlled mobility and reactivity, but also to determine their long-term fate in the subsurface.

Environmental risks of nanomaterials for remediation are still uncertain.
NANOREM partners will assess ecotoxicity and exposure of subsurface organisms to nanomaterials, contaminants, and the transformation products.

Detection of nanomaterials in the field is currently one of the major challenges.
The project task is also to develop a comprehensive tool-box that enables in situ detection of nanomaterials used in remediation.

Need for a tool for prediction and design of field applications.
Modelers and hydrogeologists will develop a user‐friendly simulation tool and enable end users to strategically choose and plan the most-suitable nanoremediation approach.

Performance of full scale applications at several pilot-sites
will be carried out during the project, in order to estimate realistic costs, performance, fate, and associated risks.

Engagement in dialogues with key stakeholder and interest groups.
The NanoRem project will also provide a platform for dissemination and dialogues with stakeholders to ensure that the development of the project meets their needs and to agree on the most sustainable and appropriate applications, balancing benefits against risks.

PI: Prof. Thilo Hofmann (leader of Work Package 4 and member of the Project Management Group)
Co-PI: Dr. Vesna Micić Batka and Dr. Frank von der Kammer

The research leading has funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement n°309517.

For further information about the NanoRem project, visit the project website: www.nanorem.eu

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