Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2010
The project NANOPOLYTOX will evaluate the toxicological impact of nanomaterials included in polymer nanocomposites, highly used in various industrial sectors, during their life cycle. The toxicological profile will be correlated with the changes in the physical and chemical properties of the nanomaterials during the artificial aging/weathering process of the polymeric nanocomposites. Raw nanomaterials and extracted nanomaterials will be characterized at different stages of their life cycle and their toxicity profiles will be obtained via in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies. The results from the in vivo studies will be used for the evaluation of the biological and environmental fate of nanomaterials. All the data generated during the project (physical, chemical and toxicological data) will be considered for the development of the novel LCIA methodology to apply to nanomaterials. These studies will also be taken into account for the selection of adequate digestion and extraction methods to separate the nanomaterials from the polymeric matrices. Moreover, optimization of these methods will facilitate the development of recycling techniques that will be applied in the end-stage of polymer nanocomposites. Disposal of the extracted toxic and/or innocuous nanomaterials will be carried out by mechanical and chemical recycling techniques. The chemical recycling technique will be based on a new separation method consisting of nanofiber filters to separate efficiently the raw nanomaterials from the polymeric matrices and re-use them in new applications. Finally, the nanofiber filters containing toxic nanomaterials will be immobilized in xerogel matrices by sol-gel processes and sintering.