209685 Sorption to engineered nanomaterials
Sorption to engineered nanomaterials and its impact on the bioavailability/toxicity of fossil fuel-derived hydrocarbons to aquatic organisms
The research project is focused on generating new knowledge about the interaction and potential impacts of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) with pollutant petroleum-derived compounds present in aqueous environments. This project will study the commercially and scientifically important silver and fullerene ENPs. As part of this project a physico-chemical characterisation scheme will be implemented that is relevant for ENPs released into aquatic environments.
Importantly, the project will investigate how ambient aqueous environmental conditions (e.g. natural organic matter, salinity/ionic strength, pH and temperature) affect both the physico-chemical properties of the nanoparticles (e.g. aggregation) and their adsorption of crude oil compounds. An assessment of how these parameters affect the concentration and distribution of crude oil compounds adsorbed to the tested ENPs will also be conducted.
The studies will use zooplankton and fish species to study the bioavailability and ecotoxicity of crude oil components adsorbed to ENPs. ENPs with crude oil compounds adsorbed to them will be exposed to organisms and acute toxicity endpoints determined. In addition, the zooplankton and fish species will be used to study uptake and trophic transfer of both petroleum compounds and ENPs by aquatic organisms. Zooplankton will be exposed to a mixture of nanoparticles and dissolved petroleum compounds and then subsequently exposed to fish in order to assess transfer potential. The findings of these studies will be directly relevant to the environmental fate and effects other types of engineered nanoparticles and organic aquatic pollutants.