Plenary Speaker Linda Abriola

Professor Linda Abriola

Professor Linda Abriola

Tufts University

On Nanomaterial Transport in the Subsurface: Emerging Pollutants and Novel Characterization Tools

Over the past decade, the rapid growth of the nanotechnology industry in the U.S. has created tremendous opportunities for the development of improved manufacturing processes, new consumer products, and revolutionary medical treatments and technologies.  Indeed, worldwide trends suggest that products that rely on nanotechnology will be a $3 trillion market by 2020. In the environmental sector, application of nanotechnology is leading to the development of innovative in situ environmental characterization and remediation tools.  As the manufacture and use of nanomaterials increases, however, these materials are also posing potentially serious threats to our water resources.  Both the design of new environmental tools and the assessment of environmental impacts will require a deeper understanding of the processes influencing the transport and fate of nanoparticles.   This presentation provides an overview of ongoing collaborative research designed to advance our understanding of nanoparticle migration and retention in the subsurface.  Examples are drawn from a range of experimental systems, encompassing a variety of carbon and metal-based engineered nanomaterials commonly used in consumer products and subsurface environmental applications. Conceptual models, originally formulated to describe colloidal transport, are adapted to represent observed nanoparticle behavior.  Numerical simulations are then used to explore the implications of research findings on field-scale nanoparticle migration and fate.