Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 5, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

In situ remediation of subsurface contamination: opportunities and challenges for nanotechnology and advanced materials

Author affiliations

Abstract

Complex subsurface contamination domains and limited efficacy of existing treatment approaches pose significant challenges to site remediation and underscore the need for technological innovation to develop cost-effective remedies. Here, we discuss opportunities for nanotechnology-enabled in situ remediation technologies to address soil and groundwater contamination. The discussion covers candidate nanomaterials, applications of nanomaterials to complement existing remediation approaches and address emerging contaminants, as well as the potential barriers for implementation and strategies and research needs to overcome these barriers. Promising nanomaterials in subsurface remediation include multi-functional nanocomposites for synergistic contaminant sequestration and degradation, selective adsorbents and catalysts, nano-tracers for subsurface contaminant delineation, and slow-release reagents enabled by stimuli-responsive nanomaterials. Limitations on mixing and transport of nanomaterials in the subsurface are severe constraints for in situ applications of these materials. Mixing enhancements are needed to overcome transport limitations in laminar flow environments. Reactive nanomaterials may be generated in situ to remediate contamination in low hydraulic conductivity zones. Overall, nano-enabled remediation technologies may improve remediation performance for a broad range of legacy and emerging contaminants. These technologies should continue to be developed and tested to discern theoretical hypotheses from feasible opportunities, and to establish realistic performance expectations for in situ remediation techniques using engineered nanomaterials alone or in combination with other technologies.

Graphical abstract: In situ remediation of subsurface contamination: opportunities and challenges for nanotechnology and advanced materials

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
02 Feb 2019
Accepted
08 Apr 2019
First published
11 Apr 2019

Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019,6, 1283-1302
Article type
Perspective
Author version available

In situ remediation of subsurface contamination: opportunities and challenges for nanotechnology and advanced materials

T. Zhang, G. V. Lowry, N. L. Capiro, J. Chen, W. Chen, Y. Chen, D. D. Dionysiou, D. W. Elliott, S. Ghoshal, T. Hofmann, H. Hsu-Kim, J. Hughes, C. Jiang, G. Jiang, C. Jing, M. Kavanaugh, Q. Li, S. Liu, J. Ma, B. Pan, T. Phenrat, X. Qu, X. Quan, N. Saleh, P. J. Vikesland, Q. Wang, P. Westerhoff, M. S. Wong, T. Xia, B. Xing, B. Yan, L. Zhang, D. Zhou and P. J. J. Alvarez, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019, 6, 1283
DOI: 10.1039/C9EN00143C

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements