A four year, €14 million research project funded through the European Commission FP7 called NanoRem has recently commenced.
The overarching aim of NanoRem is to develop, and support the appropriate use of, nanotechnology for contaminated land remediation in Europe (known as nanoremediation).
NanoRem will focus on facilitating practical, safe, economic and exploitable nanotechnology for insitu remediation. This will be undertaken in parallel with developing a comprehensive understanding of the: environmental risk-benefit for the use of nanoparticles; market demand; overall sustainability; and stakeholder perceptions.
The project is designed to unlock the potential of nanoremediation processes from laboratory scale to end user applications and so support both the appropriate use of nanotechnology in restoring land and water resources and the development of the knowledge-based economy at a world leading level for the benefit of a wide range of users in the EU environmental sector. The project has 28 partners from 13 countries, including universities, research institutions and private companies. The consortium is co-ordinated by the VEGAS team (Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation) from the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
The main objectives of NanoRem are to:
Identify the most appropriate nanoremediation technological approaches to achieve a step
change in remediation practice.
Develop lower cost production techniques and production at commercial scales of nanoparticles.
Determine the mobility and migration potential of nanoparticles in the subsurface, and relating these both to their potential usefulness and also their potential to cause harm.
Develop a comprehensive set of tools to monitor practical nanoremediation performance and determine the fate of nanoparticles.
Engage in dialogue with key stakeholder and interest groups to ensure that the work meets their needs, is most sustainable and appropriate whilst balancing benefits against risks.