Nanotechnologies and environment: A review of pros and cons


O.S. Tsekhmistrenko*, V.S. Bityutskyy, S.I. Tsekhmistrenko, V.M. Kharchishin, O.M. Melnichenko, O.I. Rozputnyy, V.V. Malina, N.M. Prysiazhniuk, Y.D. Melnichenko, P.I. Vered, O.P. Shulko and L.S. Onyshchenko

This review outlines the latest advances in nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanotechnologies and their environmental impact. Environmental restoration is based on the use of physic-chemical methods: adsorption, absorption, chemical reactions, photocatalysis, filtration and technologies that remove contaminants from soil, water and air. New technologies and nanomaterials are now being developed for environmental restoration. Nanomaterials have high surface-to-volume ratio and high reactivity, which makes them suitable for cleaning the environment from heavy metals, dyes, organochlorine and organophosphorus, volatile organic compounds and halogen-containing herbicides. The review examined modern approaches to the classification of nanomaterials, their basic properties, and their scope for the remediation of contaminated soil and water. Despite the wide scope of application, economic and environmental effects, the nanotechnology products possess some toxicity. The review addresses the issues of ecotoxicology and potential risks associated with the use of nanotechnology products, the mechanisms of toxicity of various nanostructures based on their size, shape, concentration and specific biological effects. We supposed that while many studies were effective in the laboratory, the additional research is needed to understand the impact of nanotechnology in real-world scenarios and the processes, which occur with nanomaterials after completing of their task. Therefore, the subsequent studies should determine the state of these materials after their introduction into the environment for recovery, the ways to avoid new contamination caused by them, and development the ways of processing nanomaterials without reducing their activity.

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