Environmental Modelling


The Fate and Behaviour of engineered Nano Silver through aquatic pathways.

Researcher: David Shevlin

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) such as nano silver (nAg) are increasingly being incorporated in domestic and commercial consumer products due to the enhanced intrinsic properties in comparison to bulk materials of the same composition. Increasing use, disposal and end of life of products containing nAg have the potential to enter the various environmental compartments (air, soil and water).

The intrinsic properties of nAg such as its bactericidal effects and its ability to release ionic silver (Ag+) may present as yet unknown environmental risk to biological community structures and ultimately human health.

The purpose of my research is to develop a risk assessment model for the fate and behaviour of nAg entering the aquatic environment.

The model will incorporate natural attenuation processes that are likely to influence the fate and behaviour of nAg in complex and variable aquatic surface waters and sediments.

Surface waters in Ireland provide a source of drinking water for human consumption and the potential for nAg to persist in surface waters presents the potential for human ingestion through the consumption of water containing residual fractions of nAg.  Therefore, presenting a direct risk to human health.   

The project is a component of the DeTER program funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Quantify & Assess the impact of ammonia emissions from intensive pig & poultry units on Natura 2000 Sites in Ireland.

Researcher: David Kelleghan

Atmospheric ammonia can impact sensitive habitats and species through both eutrophication and acidification.

In Ireland to date ambient monitoring has been carried out in 1999 and repeated in 2015, this work actively avoided hotspot sources of ammonia, namely intensive agriculture units where atmospheric ammonia concentrations can be significantly higher at a local level.

My work aims to look at the impact of these hotspot sources of atmospheric ammonia by monitoring emissions from representative farms, and modelling the dispersion of ammonia in the atmosphere.

Due to their sensitive nature, my work is focused on the impacts on Natura 2000 sites, which are designated based on the international importance of habitats and species they are intended to protect.

This project is funded by STRIVE as administered by the Environmental Protection Agency