Sustainable Agriculture: Nanotechnology has the ability to develop intelligent nanopesticides that can release pesticide active ingredients to target organisms based on plant demands in a controlled and targeted manner. Use of these well-designed nanopesticides in agriculture not only enhances pesticidal efficiency toward target organisms but also minimizes environmental footprints and risks due to excessive use of conventional pesticides. Same rationale applies to nanofertilizers and nanosensors in advancing sustainable agriculture.
Innovative Strategy for Environmental Remediation: Simultaneous, fast, and effective removal of multiple inorganic and organic contaminants and inactivation of microbes have been at the forefront for developing modern water treatment technologies. Hierarchically-assembling nanomaterials (e.g., carbon-metal hybridized photocatalysts) onto cost-effective supporting materials (biochar, activated carbon, and clays) provides a viable means to fast and efficiently adsorb and degrade various contaminants including PFAS.
(Co)Transport of Particles and Contaminants: Understanding the fate and transport of particles (e.g., colloids and engineered nanoparticles) and their cotransport with contaminants (e.g., PFAS and plastics) in the subsurface environment is needed for designing and implementing effective means for environmental remediation, as well as potential risk assessment.
Phosphorus Source and Biogeochemical Cycling: Phosphate oxygen isotope technique is a robust tool that can help tracking the source and identifying cycling and bioavailability of phosphorus in watershed. In particular, integrating oxygen isotope technique with other promising techniques (e.g., synchrotron-based x-ray absorption spectroscopy) can enable better identifying the biogeochemical cycling and fate of P in more complex aquatic environments.