Nanomaterials and the environment: uses, methods and measurement
Nanotechnology has emerged as a field of science and engineering which offers many new product possibilities and potential solutions for a variety of problems. Nanomaterials come in many shapes and forms and contribute to potential products that do everything from sense analytes on a molecular level to function as self cleaning surfaces. With new and significant applications, it is likely that nanomaterial containing products may replace many of the products we use on a daily basis, leading to an increased presence of these materials in the environment. This will result in new needs and requirements from detection tools. It is likely that the analytical methods used to monitor nanomaterials in the environment will be very different than those used in risk assessment and exposure studies. This paper briefly outlines the history, impacts, and uses of nanomaterials and discusses possible methods of detection and quantification for environmental samples. The discussions in this article are specific to those matrices relating to wastewaters and sludge.