Assessing the life cycle impact of nanomaterial-based membranes

  • Graduate student: Chrsitine Robichaud (Environmental Engineering, Duke University)
  • Primary Adviser: Dr. Mark Wiesner (Environmental Engineering, Duke University)
  • PERMEANT collaboration: Dr. Jean-Yves Bottero (CEREGE)

As nanomaterials are fabricated and incorporated into an increasing array of manufactured products, they will inevitably be introduced to the environment throughout the stages of their lifecycles. Like all other substances introduced to the environment, they will have some effect on the air, water, soil, and organisms with which they come in contact. Unlike previous substances whose lifecycle impacts and related risks have been characterized, these nanomaterials exhibit some novel properties based on their small size and subsequently large surface area-to-volume ratio.

Our research seeks to develop and apply appropriate life cycle impact assessment methodologies that will adequately capture the effects of these novel substances on their environment. Since the behaviors and interactions of nanomaterials depend highly on their specific molecular structure and on the final product form in which it will be utilized, this project focuses on assessing the life cycle impact of nanomaterial-based membranes used in fuel cells and in the co-generation of water and energy.



J. Taurozzi, H. Arul, V. Z. Bosak, A. Burban, T. Voice, M. Breuning, V. Tarabara, Effect of filler incorperation route on properties of polysulfone-silver nanocomposite membranes of different prosities. J. Membr. Sci. 325 (2008) 58-68.

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For more information, please contact: Thomas Voice or Volodymyr Tarabara,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA 48824
Phone: +1 517 353 9718. Fax: +1 517 355 0250. Email: