Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.375, 290-296, 2019
Development of a model (SWNano) to assess the fate and transport of TiO2 engineered nanoparticles in sewer networks
A new model, SWNano (Sewer-Water Nano), has been developed in the present study that quantitatively simulates the spatio-temporal changes in the concentrations of TiO2 ENPs of dispersed and aggregated forms in the sewage water and sediment of a sewer network. As a brief example of SWNano applications, a small section of the entire sewer network of Seoul, Korea, was chosen to study where the sewage water was experimentally characterized. The predictions of SWNano present important findings that i) heteroaggregation is the most significant process following the advective transport among the fate and transport processes in the sewer pipes, ii) the heteroaggregation of TiO2 ENPs with SPMs in the sewage water can substantially (a few % to more than 50%) reduce the freely dispersed TiO2 ENPs depending on the magnitude of attachment efficiency, and iii) accurate determination of attachment efficiency is of critical importance in predicting the quantity of individual forms of ENPs exiting the sewer system. The predictions strongly suggest that the fate and transport of TiO2 ENPs in the sewer networks be taken into account to improve the assessment of exposure to TiO2 ENPs in the aquatic ecosystems, which warrants further development and use of models like SWNano.