Project Aims

Project Aims

The objective of the project Environmental Effects and Risk Evaluation of Engineered Nanoparticles (EnvNano) is:

  • To elucidate the particle specific properties that govern the ecotoxicological effects of engineered nanoparticles and in this way lay the foundation for a potential shift in the paradigm of environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials.

A number of other research projects have been funded in the emerging field of nano-ecotoxicology and environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials. However, an analysis of these shown that they inherently assume that the methodologies developed for chemicals can be adapted to be applicable for nanomaterials (Grieger et al., 2010). A prerequisite for the applicability of many of these methodologies are that the chemicals are soluble in water implying that the environmental fate and behaviour can be predicted from the partitition coefficients. 

Instead of assuming that existing methodologies can be adapted, this project has a completely different starting point and thereby has the potential to significantly shift the research focus within this field:

The behaviour of nanoparticles in suspension is fundamentally different from that of chemicals in solution. Therefore, all modifications of existing techniques that do not take this fact into account are bound to have a limited sphere of application or in the worst case be invalid, give meaningless and/or misleading results.


This research project is based on the following hypotheses:

This research project is based on the following hypotheses:
  1. The ecotoxicity and bioaccumulation of engineered nanoparticles will be a function of specific physical and chemical characteristics of the nanoparticles
  2. The environmental hazards of engineered nanoparticles cannot be derived from hazard identifications of the material in other forms
  3. Existing regulatory risk assessment procedures for chemicals will not be appropriate to assess the behaviour and potential harmful effects of engineered nanoparticles on the environment.
http://www.envnano.env.dtu.dk/project-overview/project-aims
23 MAY 2017