To main content

ENTRANS: Investigating the ENvironmental impacts of TRANSformed engineered nanomaterials released from wastewater treatment plants


The production, diversity and use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) increases globally as the market and number of applications for ENM expands. Silver (Ag), zinc (Zn) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) ENMs are among the most widely used in industrial processes and consumer products leading to increased releases to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) from domestic and industrial sources. Material flow analyses suggest that landfills or agricultural soils and sediments are the main receiving compartments for ENM, depending on the application and ENM type. However, knowledge on the fate and transformation of ENMs in WWTP biosolids following their use as fertilizer on agricultural land, their impacts on soil and sediment ecosystems released through run-off after land-application are only poorly understood.

ENTRANS aims to improve the understanding of the behavior and physicochemical transformation processes impacting ENM in different environmental media (wastewater, biosolids, soil, sediment) and how this transformation influences ENM bioavailability, bioaccumulation and toxicity in organisms from receiving environments considered to be the final sinks for ENMs, soil and sediments.

The ENTRANS project will follow and characterize the physicochemical transformation of ENMs in WWTP and environmental compartments. Using isotopically labelled Ag, Zn and TiO2 ENMs, the transformation and further impact of these particles, including bioavailability, bioaccumulation, biodistribution and toxicity, will be tracked and studied using relevant in vitro and in vivo models to provide a better understanding of the link between transformation, uptake and observed toxicity. Existing guidelines will be improved to incorporate environmentally relevant exposures and toxicity endpoints of regulatory relevance and novel bioassays will be developed focusing on immune and stress responses. The transformation processes, exposure and uptake, biodistribution and toxicity data will be carefully generated so that the obtained results can be integrated into computational fate and exposure models and a risk assessment can be performed.




  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 302378




  • Anastasia Georgantzopoulou
  • Sebastian Kühr
  • Andy Booth
  • Julia Farkas
  • Claire Coutris
  • Ralf Kaegi
  • Mark Rehkämper
  • Ailbhe Macken
  • Kuria Ndungu
  • Patricia Almeida Carvalho
  • Saer Samanipour
  • Kevin V. Thomas
  • Karina Petersen
  • Tania Gomes
  • Maria Thérése Hultman
  • Adam David Lillicrap


  • Norwegian Institute of Water Research
  • SINTEF Ocean / Climate and Environment
  • Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
  • Unknown
  • SINTEF Industry / Sustainable Energy Technology

Presented at

SETAC Europe 31th Annual Meeting


03.05.2021 - 06.05.2021



View this publication at Cristin