Recently, increasing studies have focused on the environmental stability, transport, and fate of the anthropogenic nanomaterials in the environment, which contributes to the understanding of the potential risks when released. However, applying nanomaterials from different manufacturers and production methods tends to result in inconsistent experimental data and potentially a biased comparison. The aim of this review is to investigate the dominant material properties that determine the aggregation and deposition behavior of nanomaterials. Herein, we focus on two of the most popular anthropogenic nanomaterials, i.e., titanium dioxide (TiO2) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We start from the production methods of nanomaterials of different sources, and then examine their influence on the material properties and surface characteristics. The role of the material properties was carefully analyzed and correlated with the stability and transport in aquatic environments. These two case studies may be extended to other nanomaterials with similar surface properties, which will improve our understanding of the impact and risks of anthropogenic nanomaterials in the environment. This study highlights opportunities to design and produce “green” nanomaterials with less environmental risk and no sacrificing of the novel “nano” properties.
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