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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 6, p. 1909-1924
     
    Received: Nov 18, 2009


    * Corresponding author(s): glowry@andrew.cmu.edu
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doi:10.2134/jeq2009.0462

Nanoparticle Aggregation: Challenges to Understanding Transport and Reactivity in the Environment

  1. Ernest M. Hotze,
  2. Tanapon Phenrat and
  3. Gregory V. Lowry *
  1. Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) and Deps. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Assigned to Associate Editor Dionysios Dionysiou

Abstract

Unique forms of manufactured nanomaterials, nanoparticles, and their suspensions are rapidly being created by manipulating properties such as shape, size, structure, and chemical composition and through incorporation of surface coatings. Although these properties make nanomaterial development interesting for new applications, they also challenge the ability of colloid science to understand nanoparticle aggregation in the environment and the subsequent effects on nanomaterial transport and reactivity. This review briefly covers aggregation theory focusing on Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeak (DLVO)-based models most commonly used to describe the thermodynamic interactions between two particles in a suspension. A discussion of the challenges to DLVO posed by the properties of nanomaterials follows, along with examples from the literature. Examples from the literature highlighting the importance of aggregation effects on transport and reactivity and risk of nanoparticles in the environment are discussed.

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