Environmental Application of Nanotechnology: Air, Soil, and Water

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Jul;23(14):13754-88. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6457-z. Epub 2016 Apr 14.


Global deterioration of water, soil, and atmosphere by the release of toxic chemicals from the ongoing anthropogenic activities is becoming a serious problem throughout the world. This poses numerous issues relevant to ecosystem and human health that intensify the application challenges of conventional treatment technologies. Therefore, this review sheds the light on the recent progresses in nanotechnology and its vital role to encompass the imperative demand to monitor and treat the emerging hazardous wastes with lower cost, less energy, as well as higher efficiency. Essentially, the key aspects of this account are to briefly outline the advantages of nanotechnology over conventional treatment technologies and to relevantly highlight the treatment applications of some nanomaterials (e.g., carbon-based nanoparticles, antibacterial nanoparticles, and metal oxide nanoparticles) in the following environments: (1) air (treatment of greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, and bioaerosols via adsorption, photocatalytic degradation, thermal decomposition, and air filtration processes), (2) soil (application of nanomaterials as amendment agents for phytoremediation processes and utilization of stabilizers to enhance their performance), and (3) water (removal of organic pollutants, heavy metals, pathogens through adsorption, membrane processes, photocatalysis, and disinfection processes).

Keywords: Air pollution; Nanomaterial application; Nanotechnology; Soil pollution; Water and wastewater.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / economics
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Environmental Pollution / analysis*
  • Hazardous Waste / analysis*
  • Nanotechnology / economics
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Water Pollution / analysis


  • Hazardous Waste