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  • Shell Center for Sustainability
  • Shell Center for Sustainability
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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.



Developing A New Approach


W.C. Hockaday (Earth Sciences)
Qilin Li (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
C. A. Masiello (Earth Sciences)

Project Background

The long term goal is to monitor engineered carbon nanomaterials (ECNs) in drinking water and waste streams using portable, low-cost, mass spectrometers. The objective of this research is to develop a method for measuring ECNs in environmental samples and understand background levels and sources.

As nanoscale science and technologies develop, it is important to assess the environmental impact of ECNs. Early research suggests that ECN particles could present a significant threat to water quality and ecosystem health. We need reliable methods for detecting and quantifying ECNs so that we can identify release points, assess fate, and monitor exposure.

Quantitative extraction of ECNs from environmental samples will be difficult. We will explain why a traditional approach for detecting and quantifying ECNs in the environment is not appropriate. We will show how to develop this method for environmental monitoring applications.

Project Video: Research team explains their project.

Final Report: ( Click here )