Research Topic

Nano-enabled technologies for efficient water treatment

About this Research Topic

In the 21st century, the provision of affordable and clean water has become a growing challenge, due to the steep growth in population, climate change, and the increasing pollution of available water supplies. Water treatment for further reuse is an active, high-in-demand industry worldwide, with efforts focusing on improving processes in order to treat water to a quality that will be suitable for agricultural activities and direct residential use. Nanotechnology holds a great promise in advancing water and wastewater treatment, to improve treatment efficiency, and to augment water supply through the safe use of unconventional water sources. The last decade has witnessed revolutionary advancements in the field, with nanomaterial designs tailored for specific environmental applications, including water remediation and water reuse.

Nanocarbons are useful to this regard, due to their porous structures, good conductivity, tunable surface chemistry, allowing great potential in various water purification techniques including adsorption, electrosorption, membrane separation, advanced oxidation processes, etc. Nano-adsorbents like carbon nanotubes have outperformed traditional micro- and macro-adsorbents for the efficient removal of organic and metal pollutants in water. Engineered nanosized metal oxides (such as TiO2) and magnetic ferrite nanomaterials are highly efficient, low cost, eco-friendly adsorbents for heavy metals and also efficient catalysts for the oxidation of organic contaminants, and nanosized metals and metal oxides such as nano-Ag, nano-ZnO, nano-TiO2, and nano-Ce2O4 have been used in water disinfection processes.

Other recent advances in the field include nanosystems with strong chemical reducing properties for the treatment of oxidation-resistant pollutants such as polyfluorinated chemicals, multifunction nanomaterials for selective removal of priority contaminants, and magnetic nano-systems with various surface, catalytic properties and easy magnetic recovering and reuse. Despite all progress made so far in this research area, there are still crucial issues that need to be addressed. For example, in the case of nanocarbons, most of them are prepared with complex procedures or expensive precursors, which increase their cost and limit their commercialization; they are also primarily prepared in powdery form, which is not beneficial for practical applications.

This Research Topic will mainly address research findings and advancements on nano-enabled systems and novel candidate nanomaterials for water and wastewater treatment. Mechanisms, advantages, and limitations of present technologies, and current research needs for commercialization, will be of critical importance. Exploring these technological advances could outline the opportunities and limitations regarding sustainable water management.

We invite submissions of Original Research and Review articles. The areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Use of advanced functional nanomaterials for water treatment in water reuse industry by means of physical (adsorption, ion exchange, chelation…etc.) and chemical (oxidation, reduction, advanced oxidation/reduction, etc.) processes
• Applications of nanocarbons as (electro)adsorbents, filters, catalysts, catalyst supports for water remediation
• Nanodevices and nano-assemblies for the treatment of water and wastewater
• Current advances in nanotechnology for application in water treatment/ water reuse industry
• Catalytic elimination of micropollutants including organic and inorganic species in water
• Methods for the fabrication of economic, environmentally friendly, and efficient nanomaterial-based systems and nanocarbons
• Mechanistic implications of using nanomaterials in the water treatment industry
• Environmental applications of magnetic nanomaterials
• Detection and quantification of water pollutants including (but not limited to) chemical, electrochemical, spectrochemical, and chromatographic methods.


Keywords: Nanosystems, nanocarbons, water remediation, water reuse, priority contaminants, mechanism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In the 21st century, the provision of affordable and clean water has become a growing challenge, due to the steep growth in population, climate change, and the increasing pollution of available water supplies. Water treatment for further reuse is an active, high-in-demand industry worldwide, with efforts focusing on improving processes in order to treat water to a quality that will be suitable for agricultural activities and direct residential use. Nanotechnology holds a great promise in advancing water and wastewater treatment, to improve treatment efficiency, and to augment water supply through the safe use of unconventional water sources. The last decade has witnessed revolutionary advancements in the field, with nanomaterial designs tailored for specific environmental applications, including water remediation and water reuse.

Nanocarbons are useful to this regard, due to their porous structures, good conductivity, tunable surface chemistry, allowing great potential in various water purification techniques including adsorption, electrosorption, membrane separation, advanced oxidation processes, etc. Nano-adsorbents like carbon nanotubes have outperformed traditional micro- and macro-adsorbents for the efficient removal of organic and metal pollutants in water. Engineered nanosized metal oxides (such as TiO2) and magnetic ferrite nanomaterials are highly efficient, low cost, eco-friendly adsorbents for heavy metals and also efficient catalysts for the oxidation of organic contaminants, and nanosized metals and metal oxides such as nano-Ag, nano-ZnO, nano-TiO2, and nano-Ce2O4 have been used in water disinfection processes.

Other recent advances in the field include nanosystems with strong chemical reducing properties for the treatment of oxidation-resistant pollutants such as polyfluorinated chemicals, multifunction nanomaterials for selective removal of priority contaminants, and magnetic nano-systems with various surface, catalytic properties and easy magnetic recovering and reuse. Despite all progress made so far in this research area, there are still crucial issues that need to be addressed. For example, in the case of nanocarbons, most of them are prepared with complex procedures or expensive precursors, which increase their cost and limit their commercialization; they are also primarily prepared in powdery form, which is not beneficial for practical applications.

This Research Topic will mainly address research findings and advancements on nano-enabled systems and novel candidate nanomaterials for water and wastewater treatment. Mechanisms, advantages, and limitations of present technologies, and current research needs for commercialization, will be of critical importance. Exploring these technological advances could outline the opportunities and limitations regarding sustainable water management.

We invite submissions of Original Research and Review articles. The areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Use of advanced functional nanomaterials for water treatment in water reuse industry by means of physical (adsorption, ion exchange, chelation…etc.) and chemical (oxidation, reduction, advanced oxidation/reduction, etc.) processes
• Applications of nanocarbons as (electro)adsorbents, filters, catalysts, catalyst supports for water remediation
• Nanodevices and nano-assemblies for the treatment of water and wastewater
• Current advances in nanotechnology for application in water treatment/ water reuse industry
• Catalytic elimination of micropollutants including organic and inorganic species in water
• Methods for the fabrication of economic, environmentally friendly, and efficient nanomaterial-based systems and nanocarbons
• Mechanistic implications of using nanomaterials in the water treatment industry
• Environmental applications of magnetic nanomaterials
• Detection and quantification of water pollutants including (but not limited to) chemical, electrochemical, spectrochemical, and chromatographic methods.


Keywords: Nanosystems, nanocarbons, water remediation, water reuse, priority contaminants, mechanism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript
15 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript
15 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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