Prospective of functionalized nanomaterials in environmental science: A nanotechnological approach

Francis Opoku, Penny P. Govender

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Environmental pollution is a global threat that is growing daily because of changing lifestyles, heavy industrialization, and urbanization. Hence, with increasing environmental awareness and concerns, there is a need to remove discarded pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organic dyes, personal care products (PCPs), heavy metals, pesticides, phenolics, sulphates, nitrates, and toxic inorganic gases from industrial and local water effluents using cost-effective technology. In the field of environmental remediation, nanomaterials (NMs), due to their high reactivity and large surface area, have potential for efficiently detecting and removing contaminants as compared to other traditional techniques. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the classifications of NMs and treatment strategies with a focus on the mechanisms involved in semiconductor photocatalysis. It also considers recent progress in the fabrication of novel NMs for air purification and treatment of drinking water and industrial wastewater polluted by inorganic and organic solutes, toxic metal ions, and bacteria. In the past two decades, a series of strategies including dye sensitization, carbon material decoration, metal nanoparticle loading, carrier loading, magnetic recycling, semiconductor coupling, metal ion/ligand immobilization, and mixed-metal/-linker and ligand functionalization approaches have been developed to regulate and modify pristine NMs to enhance their performance. Recent studies have shown that functionalized materials are somewhat effective in air purification and wastewater treatment applications without affecting human health. Finally, the chapter examines the prospects of using NMs as a stable and friendly technique for low-cost practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFunctionalized Nanomaterials Based Devices for Environmental Applications
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9780128222454
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Air purification
  • Contaminants
  • Environmental remediations
  • Functionalized nanomaterials
  • Human health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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