BTO rapport - BTO 2013.051

Evaluation of Analytical Methods for Nanomaterials in Water


Understanding the risks of nanotechnology for the environment is considered a crucial constraint for the societal acceptance of its many potential innovative applications. Currently, insight into factors governing environmental and human health risks of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) and their behaviour in the water cycle is largely lacking, despite the fact that the application of ENP is growing tremendously and there is a rapidly growing body of scientific literature on effects of nanomaterials. Quantification and characterisation of nanomaterials is essential to assess their occurrence and distribution in the aqueous environment. However, determination of the occurrence and state (i.e. homo- or hetero-aggregated, freely dissolved, sorbed) of nanomaterials in (aqueous) environmental matrices is an analytical challenge that necessitates complex chemical- and physical detection techniques. A first step in meeting this challenge is an inventory of the available analytical techniques. A previous report B2013.202(s) names the available analytical techniques for organic and inorganic nanomaterials of GWRC members and associated research institutes. The current report will summarise and evaluate the results of an interlaboratory study. Several laboratories have received samples containing nanomaterials, and analysed these samples using available techniques. The data will be used to evaluate the current state of nanoparticle analysis within this group.

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