CRC CARE brings together industry, government, science and engineering to prevent, assess and clean up environmental contamination

Log in


Adi Maoz-Shen


Adi Maoz-Shen


Project title

Environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials for soil and groundwater remediation

Thesis title

Effects and side-effects of using nanoscale zero-valent-iron for environmental remediation

Project description

Over the past decade, research into the use of nano zero valent iron (nZVI) as a remediation agent for pollutant groundwater and soils has increased significantly. The use of nZVI appears to offer several advantages over traditional techniques due to its unique properties (e.g. small size, high surface area, high reactivity), its suitability for a wide range of pollutants, and its potential use in accessing and treating otherwise inaccessible subsurface contamination sources. However, some of these features of nZVI may also potentially pose a risk. For example, high reactivity could potential translate into significant ecotoxicity towards terrestrial species and changes in microbial ecology and functionality may alter the long-term balance in the affected ecosystems in ways which are not yet fully understood. For these reasons it is necessary to assess the potential for harmful impacts to arise from the release of nZVI particles into the environment. 

The main objective of this project is to investigate the efficacy and potential side effects of manufactured nZVI particles proposed for use in soil/groundwater remediation. A combination of analytical techniques and biological assays will be used to investigate the remediation potential and ecotoxicological effects associated with nZVI particles in order to achieve real insights that may be used to minimise environmental risks.

Student Profile

Adi studied B.Sc.Agr (2003–2006) and M.Sc.Agr. (2006–2009) in the department of Soil and Water Sciences in The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her dissertation topic was “Interactions of the pharmaceuticals naproxen and carbamazepine with sewage sludge derived dissolved organic matter".

While Adi was completing her bachelor degree, she worked (part time) as Laboratory Assistant in the Dept. of Plant Sciences at Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.

After graduation, Adi worked (2010–2012) as environmental health officer in the Environmental Health Department in the Ministry of Health, South Regional Health Office, in Israel. Her work included supervision on water aspects such as quality of drinking water, water system in institutions and swimming pools.