NANO-Transfer: Trophic transfer and toxicity of carbonaceous nanomaterials in the aquatic environment

Project duration: 2016-2019

Funding: BMBF under agreement with the FP7 ERA-NET SIINN

Principle investigator at the Goethe University, Department Evolutionary Ecology & Environmental Toxicology (E3T)
  • Prof. Dr. Henner Hollert
  • Andreas Schaeffer

Project process
  • Irina Politowski
  • Michael Patrick Hennig
  • Hanna Maja Maes

Cooperation partners
  • Technical University of Dresden
  • Politehnica University of Bucharest
  • Spanish Council for Scientific Research
  • Research Institute for Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment gaiac
  • Catalan Institute for Water Research

The increasing number of plastic products containing carbonaecous manufactured nanomaterials (C-MNMs), like multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or fullerenes (C60) leads to their potential release in the aquatic environment, mostly after disposal and subsequent environmental degradation. These released C-MNMs are bioavailable for pelagic and benthic organisms. After C-MNMs enter the environment and aquatic biota are exposed to them, there is only little known concerning the environmental fate, chronic effects, bioaccumulation and food web transfer of these nanomaterials in all trophic levels. The information on the influence of C-MNMs on the toxicity of other hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOC) is very scarce as well. Based on their carbonaceous nature and their low environmental concentrations the detection of MWCNT and fullerenes in environmental media (water, soil and sediment) is complex.
The ERA-NET SIINN project NANO-Transfer is divided in 7 work packages (WP). WP0 coordinates the project. In WP1 the fate and distribution of irradiated C-MNMs in environ-mental media is examined. WP2 and WP3 adress the bioaccumulation and the chronic effects of altered C-MNMs in different aquatic organisms. The food web transfer of C-MNMs is further considered in WP4. As C-MNMs might act as sorbents for hydrophobic organic compounds (HOC), in WP5 the adsorption of two model chemicals, bisphenol A (BPA) and triclocarban (TCC) is investigated. Moreover, the 'trojan horse effect' on several organisms (algae, daphnids, fish) is analysed. In WP6 the dissemination of obtained data is organized.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Henner Hollert

Goethe University Frankfurt
Biologicum, Campus Riedberg
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Room: 3.319
Phone: +49 (0)69 798 42171
Fax: +49 (0)69 798 42161
Email: hollert(at)bio(dot)uni-frankfurt(dot)de

Former Affiliation: