Nanoparticle Fate Assessment and Toxicity in the Environment (NanoFATE)

  • PI: Dr Peter Kille (PK) School of Biosciences, Cardiff University
  • CoIs: Prof. A. John Morgan (D.Sc.) (AJM) – School of Biosciences, Cardiff University
  • Collaborating Institutions: 12 partners of 9 European countries
  • Staff: Dr Kate Powell – School of Biosciences, Cardiff University

NanoFATE is a large scale collaborative EU-funded project gathering 12 partners of 9 European countries. This project will investigate the fate and effects of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in the environment. It will examine post-production life cycles of key nanoparticles, from their entry into the environmental as ‘used products’, through the full range of waste treatment processes to their final fates (destinations in the environment or in organisms) and potential toxic effects.

NanoFATE Project Summary as described at their website

Mission and vision

NanoFATE has been conceived to fill knowledge and methodological gaps currently impeding sound assessment of environmental risks posed by engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Our vision is to assess environmental ENP fate and risk in selected high-volume products for which recycling is not an option, namely: fuel additive, personal care and antibacterial products. Two market ENPs from each product (CeO2, ZnO, Ag of varying size, surface and core chemistries) will be followed through their post-production life cycles – from environmental entry as “spent product”, through waste treatment to their final fates and potential toxic effects. In this way we will test the applicability of current fate and risk assessment methods and identify improvements required for early stage assessment of ENPs.

Overall Objectives

Nanofate will deliver a systematic study of the environmental fate and toxicity of selected ENPs, to support delivery of novel ENP risk quantification methods. Nine Science & Technology objectives are addressed:

  1. Design, tagging and manufacture of ENPs
  2. Analysis of ENP interactions with abiotic and biotic entities
  3. Generating predictive models for ENP exposure in waters and sludge-amended soils
  4. Studying the fate and behaviour of ENPs through wastewater treatment
  5. Determining acute and chronic ecotoxicity
  6. Assessing effects of physico-chemical properties on ENP bioavailability
  7. Defining mechanisms of uptake, internal trafficking, and toxicity
  8. Developing spatial risk assessment model(s)
  9. Improving understanding of ENP risks


NanoFATE will provide robust tools, techniques and knowledge needed by stakeholders to understand and communicate risks associated with ENPs of different physical or chemical properties, including their environmental interactions and toxicity.

Further up-to-date information can be found in the Nanofate Newsletter.