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Effects of Engineered nano-TiO2 on phosphorus adsorption in sediments and its mechanisms

Sponsor: National Nature Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)

Headed by Luo Zhuanxi

Date: 2011.01-2013.12  

Nanotechnology is advancing rapidly and could soon become a trillion-dollar industry. As a result, release of substantial amount of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) into the environment is inevitable. Understanding the safety, environmental and human health implications of nanotechnology-based products is of worldwide importance. Thus an emerging area of research is now focused on human health and environmental safety of these released ENPs, especially engineered nano-TiO2. To date, most researches focused on ecotoxicology of engineered nano-TiO2 in the aquatic environment using model microcosm. It is still unclear how engineered nano-TiO2 influences on the behavior of concurrent contaminants in environmental media, particularly its microscopical mechanisms. Engineered nano-TiO2 would actually end up in the sediments with significant quantity. The main objectives of this proposed research are to: a) examine the phosphorus (P) adsorption behavior in sediment phosphorus, b) emphasize to determine the microscopic surface morphology and structure of sediment c) identify the mechanisms of sediment phosphorus adsorption influenced by engineered nano-TiO2. The proposed project will provide insights into the impacts of engineered nano-TiO2 on the pollutants behavior in sediment and the environmental risk of engineered nanomaterials, and will improve accuracy and relevancy of the weight-of-evidence of decision-making process for engineered nanomaterials management. 

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