Simultaneous Environmental Monitoring and Purification Through Smart Particles

EPA Grant Number: R829602
Title: Simultaneous Environmental Monitoring and Purification Through Smart Particles
Investigators: Sigmund, Wolfgang M. , Mazyck, David , Wu, Chang-Yu
Institution: University of Florida
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: February 10, 2002 through February 9, 2005
Project Amount: $390,000
RFA: Exploratory Research: Nanotechnology (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Safer Chemicals


A multi-disciplinary synthesis of technologies to design and fabricate smart particles that can purify and monitor the environment.

We are pursuing a multi-disciplinary synthesis of technologies, including self-organized structural control and smart materials with focus on environmental purification and monitoring to create intelligent surfaces and structures that not only sense and interact with their environment, but that can fundamentally alter their own behavior and deactivate themselves as preprogrammed or as desired. The hypothesis we want to test is: will nano-engineered smart particles based on a modular building concept enable simultaneous monitoring and purification of the water and air environment?


Define and synthesize smart particles that purify and monitor by indicating through a simple visible change like color or size. Make particles easily separable by auto-flocculation and/or by magnetic removal. Synthesize ferromagnetic particles with high specific surface area that increase the specific surface area by at least two orders of magnitude compared to current magnetic photocatalysts. Strongly reduce the mass of photocatalyst required for treatment and further improve pollutants mass transfer and exposure to UV-light through magnetically agitated fluidization.

Expected Results:

Atomic and molecular control of material building blocks and required engineering tools to provide the means to assemble and utilize these tailored building blocks for assembling novel smart particles for environmental applications as purifiers and sensors, which are environmentally benign. Reducing the amount of photocatalyst and increasing the specific surface area of magnetic photocatalyst composites by two orders of magnitude.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 45 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 8 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

air, water, drinking water, chemicals, bisphenol A, heavy metals, mercury, environmental chemistry, physics, materials, nano-engineering, templates, carbon nanotubes, magnetic materials, fluidized bed., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Monitoring/Modeling, New/Innovative technologies, Environmental Engineering, environmental monitoring, monitoring, nanosensors, chemical sensors, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, biomonitoring, remediation, analytical chemistry, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, nanoscale sensors, sustainability, nano engineering, smart particles, innovative technologies

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003
  • Final Report