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The grounds

What are probable scenarios for nanoparticles in the grounds?

According to their size, nanoparticles can be more or less strongly adsorbed on the particles of the ground by surface effects. The migration in the ground of the nanoparticles depends on their properties, on the physical characteristics of the ground, and on climatic. Besides, these particles become vectors by fixing the other substances.

The study of manufactured nanoparticle transformation, in natural environmental conditions (out of the laboratory), is very hard to achieve as a result of the presence of natural nanoparticles with a structure and an order of magnitude similar. Techniques used to characterize nanomaterials (AFM, DLS, MEB,…) are applicable only in the aqueous phase [P.S. Tourinho et al., Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31 (2012) 1679-1692]. In the literature, most of the data have been mostly obtained from simplified aqueous media where the environmental physical-chemical parameters have been modified.

The migration of particles towards the water resources, in particular subterranean, seems to be limited. If the surface is reactive for the known contaminants, it is also for the soil and the subsoil materials (clay, limestone, quartz, organic matter,…). The nanoparticles seem to quickly blocked in their transfer and remain in the soil without reach the groundwater.