NanoRem (Taking Nanotechnological Remediation Processes from Lab Scale to End User Applications for the Restoration of a Clean Environment) is a research project, funded through the European Commission FP7. It focuses on facilitating practical, safe, economic and exploitable nanotechnology for in situ remediation. This is being undertaken in parallel with developing a comprehensive understanding of the environmental risk-benefit for the use of nanoparticles (NPs), market demand, overall sustainability, and stakeholder perceptions.
The NanoRem consortium is composed of 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 and one organization with policy and regulatory interests.
Two different particle types (Nano-Goethite for oxidation and Carbo-Iron® for reduction) have been chosen for pilot-scale application.
UDE has developed Nano-Goethite suspensions and optimized them in terms of reactivity, suspension stability, microbiological degradation and costs. Further optimization was performed through iron loading and disaggregation and stabilization procedures. Nano-Goethite forms a long-term stable suspensions and shows good subsurface transport properties allowing for injection into aquifers and travel distances of several meters. After injection the particles precipitate creating stable iron oxide barriers. Its ability to serve as electron acceptor and support microbial degradation processes (e.g. BTEX degradation by iron-reducing processes) is currently being tested in up-scaled pilot experiments and at field scale at the Spolchemie site in the Czech Republic.
The Nano-Goethite particles are furthermore suited to construct adsorption barriers for heavy metals.