NanoFARM is a research consortium whose mission is to to provide information to aid in safe development of effective and sustainable nano-agrochemicals. We’re made up of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Aveiro University, University of Kentucky, and University of Vienna.
Manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) hold promise for increasing the sustainability of agriculture. Nanofertilizers and nanopesticides can improve the efficiency of agrochemical use and decrease energy and water requirements for food production. However, nano-enabled agrochemical formulations need to be developed safely. This requires a fundamental understanding of the factors influencing the fate and effects of nano-enabled agrochemicals.
NanoFARM research will determine how agricultural MNM properties and applied concentration affect their:
- Persistence in the environment.
- Bioaccumulation by tomato and wheat plants and trophic transfer to terrestrial organisms.
- Toxicity and multigenerational effects on soil organisms and potential for ecological impacts.
Analytical methods will be developed to track and characterize MNMs in soil at realistic concentrations, and test guidelines will be developed for assessing the bioavailability of nano-enabled agrochemicals using simple protocols and standardized reporting formats.