A review on nanomaterials for environmental remediation
This article gives an overview of the application of nanomaterials in environmental remediation. In the area of environmental remediation, nanomaterials offer the potential for the efficient removal of pollutants and biological contaminants. Nanomaterials in various shapes/morphologies, such as nanoparticles, tubes, wires, fibres etc., function as adsorbents and catalysts and their composites with polymers are used for the detection and removal of gases (SO2, CO, NOx, etc.), contaminated chemicals (arsenic, iron, manganese, nitrate, heavy metals, etc.), organic pollutants (aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons) and biological substances, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and antibiotics. Nanomaterials show a better performance in environmental remediation than other conventional techniques because of their high surface area (surface-to-volume ratio) and their associated high reactivity. Recent advances in the fabrication of novel nanoscale materials and processes for the treatment of drinking water and industrial waste water contaminated by toxic metal ions, radionuclides, organic and inorganic solutes, bacteria and viruses and the treatment of air are highlighted. In addition, recent advances in the application of polymer nanocomposite materials for the treatment of contaminants and the monitoring of pollutants are also discussed. Furthermore, the research trends and future prospects are briefly discussed.