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Transformation pathways and fate of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in distinct interactive environmental compartments: A review

Abbas, Qumber
Yousaf, Balal
Amina, Amina
Ali, Muhammad Ubaid
Munir, Mehr Ahmed Mujtaba
El-Naggar, Ali
Rinklebe, Joerg
Naushad, Mu
The ever increasing production and use of nano-enabled commercial products release the massive amount of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in the environment. An increasing number of recent studies have shown the toxic effects of ENPs on different organisms, raising concerns over the nano-pollutants behavior and fate in the various environmental compartments. After the release of ENPs in the environment, ENPs interact with various components of the environment and undergoes dynamic transformation processes. This review focus on ENPs transformations in the various environmental compartments. The transformation processes of ENPs are interrelated to multiple environmental aspects. Physical, chemical and biological processes such as the homo- or hetero-agglomeration, dissolution/sedimentation, adsorption, oxidation, reduction, sulfidation, photochemically and biologically mediated reactions mainly occur in the environment consequently changes the mobility and bioavailability of ENPs. Physico-chemical characteristics of ENPs (particle size, surface area, zeta potential/surface charge, colloidal stability, and core-shell composition) and environmental conditions (pH, ionic strength, organic and inorganic colloids, temperature, etc.) are the most important parameters which regulated the ENPs environmental transformations. Meanwhile, in the environment, organisms encountered multiple transformed ENPs rather than the pristine nanomaterials due to their interactions with various environmental materials and other pollutants. Thus it is the utmost importance to study the behavior of transformed ENPs to understand their environmental fate, bioavailability, and mode of toxicity.