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Nanotechnology: Remediation

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Remediation - Technologies to effectively remediate the environment from pollutants.

Cost-effective remediation techniques pose a major challenge for the EPA in the development of adequate remediation techniques that protect the public and safeguard the environment. EPA supports research that addresses new remediation approaches that are more effective in removing contamination in a more cost-effective manner than currently available techniques. Substances of significant concern in remediation of soils, sediment, and groundwater include heavy metals (e.g., mercury, lead, cadmium) and organic compounds (e.g., benzene, chlorinated solvents, creosote, toluene). Nanotechnology offers the possibility of more effective remediation due to the higher surface to volume ratios of nano materials, and it offers the possibility of novel collection and separation protocols imparted due to the unique physical properties of nanomaterials. Specific control and design of materials at the molecular level may impart increased affinity, capacity, and selectivity for pollutants. Reducing releases of such hazardous materials to the air and water, providing safe drinking water, and minimizing quantities and exposure to hazardous wastes are among EPA's goals.

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