M. Sc. Benedikt Steinhoff
Phone: +49 (0)271 740 2988
The topic of my PhD is embedded in the project FENOMENO (Fate and effect of wastewater-borne manufactured nanomaterials) which addresses the impact of end-of-life engineered nanomaterials (MNMs) on aquatic ecosystems. Although most MNMs are removed from the wastewater during wastewater treatment, a small fraction still remains, which exhibits increased toxicity because of adsorption of surface-active substances. The fate and characterization of those particles (Ag, TiO2), as well as the toxicological influence of those materials on the aquatic food chain (algae, daphnia, fish), are the key aspects of this investigation. For this purpose, modern analytical and microscopic approaches for qualitative and quantitative analysis of MNMs are applied, that are supposed to shed light on bioaccumulation. Localization, form, size and agglomeration behaviour of such particles are of special interest and will be analysed with yet to be newly or further developed optical, electronic and atomic force microscopy procedures. Moreover, the surface functionalization of MNMs is to be determined via surface-analytical methods (XPS, EDX), to investigate a potential correlation with toxicity studies as carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute IME in Schmallenberg.