Environmental Fate and Ecotoxicity of Engineered Nanoparticles

Authored by: Anamika Kushwaha , Radha Rani , Vishnu Agarwal

Advanced Nanomaterials for Wastewater Remediation

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498753333
eBook ISBN: 9781315368108
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781315368108-16

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Abstract

Nanotechnology research is currently an area of intense scientific interest, because of a wide variety of potential applications due to unique size-dependent properties. These properties make nanoparticles superior and indispensable, as they show unusual physical and chemical properties such as conductivity, heat transfer, melting temperature, optical properties, and magnetization. Due to the wide production and applications of engineered nanoparticles, their release into the environment has significantly increased. The behavior of nanoparticles and their effects on both biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystems are not yet well established. Moreover, the process and rate of degradation of these nanoparticles are unknown, thereby leading to their accumulation in the environment. Therefore, nanoparticles have major impacts on ecosystems and the environment. Some of the engineered nanoparticles, such as silver nanoparticles, have a known antimicrobial effect, and their presence may lead to the killing of pathogenic as well as beneficial microorganisms in the environment, which may affect various environmental processes such as biogeochemical cycles. Nanoparticles also tend to accumulate in marine and aquatic environments, thus affecting aquatic microorganisms and macroorganisms. Therefore, in this chapter, the uses of nanoparticles, their entry into the ecosystem, and their impact on the organisms present there are discussed.

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