• Impact of metal and metal oxide engineered nanoparticles in soil and plant systems
  • Carbone, Serena <1984>


  • AGR/14 Pedologia


  • Nanotechnology promises huge benefits for society and capital invested in this new technology is steadily increasing, therefore there is a growing number of nanotechnology products on the market and inevitably engineered nanomaterials will be released in the atmosphere with potential risks to humans and environment. This study set out to extend the comprehension of the impact of metal (Ag, Co, Ni) and metal oxide (CeO2, Fe3O4, SnO2, TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) on one of the most important environmental compartments potentially contaminated by NPs, the soil system, through the use of chemical and biological tools. For this purpose experiments were carried out to simulate realistic environmental conditions of wet and dry deposition of NPs, considering ecologically relevant endpoints. In detail, this thesis involved the study of three model systems and the evaluation of related issues: (i) NPs and bare soil, to assess the influence of NPs on the functions of soil microbial communities; (ii) NPs and plants, to evaluate the chronic toxicity and accumulation of NPs in edible tissues; (iii) NPs and invertebrates, to verify the effects of NPs on earthworms and the damaging of their functionality. The study highlighted that NP toxicity is generally influenced by NP core elements and the impact of NPs on organisms is specie-specific; moreover experiments conducted in media closer to real conditions showed a decrease in toxicity with respect to in vitro test or hydroponic tests. However, only a multidisciplinary approach, involving physical, chemical and biological skills, together with the use of advanced techniques, such as X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, could pave the way to draw the right conclusions and accomplish a deeper comprehension of the effects of NPs on soil and soil inhabitants.


  • 2014-05-27


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Carbone, Serena (2014) Impact of metal and metal oxide engineered nanoparticles in soil and plant systems, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari , 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6644.