Thilo Hofmann

Thilo Hofmann
University of Vienna | UniWien · Department of Environmental Geosciences

Prof. Dr.

About

240
Publications
175,112
Reads
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11,331
Citations
Citations since 2017
77 Research Items
7834 Citations
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Introduction
We take an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of aquatic and terrestrial processes that control the earth environment. Chemical, physical, biological, and geoscientific concepts and methods are applied to experimental work and field observations to arrive at a molecular scale mechanistic understanding and quantitative modelling of these processes. We are well equipped to seize opportunities presented by new developments in areas such as nanogeosciences, environmental chemical analytics, chemical speciation and modern hydrogeology. Our overall goal is to understand processes controlling the environmental systems and to apply fundamental insights to the solution of some of the pressing environmental problems of today and tomorrow.
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - December 2009
East China Normal University
January 2008 - present
February 2005 - present
University of Vienna
Education
January 2002
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Field of study
  • Hydrogeology
January 1998
Universität Bremen
Field of study
  • Aquatic Geochemistry
January 1995
Technische Universität Berlin
Field of study
  • Hydrogeology

Publications

Publications (240)
Article
Understanding the environmental fate of microplastics is essential for their risk assessment. It is essential to differentiate size classes and degradation states. Still, insights into fragmentation and degradation mechanisms of primary and secondary microplastics into micro- and nanoplastic fragments and other degradation products are limited. Her...
Article
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Nitriding has been used for decades to improve the corrosion resistance of iron and steel materials. Moreover, iron nitrides (FexN) have been shown to give an outstanding catalytic performance in a wide range of applications. We demonstrate that nitriding also substantially enhances the reactivity of zerovalent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) used for gr...
Article
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Extracellular DNA is a major macromolecule in global element cycles, and is a particularly crucial phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon source for microorganisms in the seafloor. Nevertheless, the identities, ecophysiology and genetic features of DNA-foraging microorganisms in marine sediments are largely unknown. Here, we combined microcosm experiments...
Article
Full-text available
Although microplastics are ubiquitous in today’s natural environments, our understanding of the materials, quantities, and particle sizes involved remains limited. The recovery of microplastics from different types of environmental matrices requires standardized matrix digestion protocols that allow inter-laboratory comparisons and that have no eff...
Article
Flüsse transportieren ein Kontinuum an Feststoffen in gelöster, kolloidaler, partikulär‐suspendierter Form, bis hin zu Geschiebe und Sediment. Die suspendierte partikuläre Fraktion (kurz: Schwebstoff) wird zwar operational von der kolloidalen (Filtration < 0,45 oder 0,22 μm) und der gelösten (< 1 kDa) unterschieden, stellt aber eine strukturell‐fun...
Article
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Short, saturated packed columns are used frequently to estimate the attachment efficiency ( α ) of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in relatively homogeneous porous media, but a combined experimental and theoretical approach to...
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Globally landscape fires produce about 256 Tg of pyrogenic carbon or charcoal each year. The role of charcoal as a source of environmentally persistent free radicals, which are precursors of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species, is poorly constrained. Here, we analyse 60 charcoal samples collected from 10 wildfires, that include crown as wel...
Article
In a number of laboratory studies, sulfidated nanoscale zero-valent iron (S-nZVI) particles showed increased reactivity, reducing capacity, and electron selectivity for Cr(VI) removal from contaminated waters. In our study, core-shell S-nZVI particles were successfully injected into an aquifer contaminated with Cr(VI) at a former chrome plating fac...
Article
Environmental contextThe effects of the presence of polymer additives and polymeric structure on sorption of xenobiotics to microplastics remain unclear. Our results combined data from experimental sorption batch experiments using three environmentally relevant model sorbates with confocal microscopy. This provides clear evidence that both factors...
Article
The detection and characterization of soluble metal nanoparticles in plant tissues are an analytical challenge, though a scientific necessity for regulating nano-enabled agrichemicals. The efficacy of two extraction methods to prepare plant samples for analysis by single particle ICP-MS, an analytical method enabling both size determination and qua...
Article
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A potential risk from human uptake of microplastics is the release of plastics-associated xenobiotics, but the key physicochemical properties of microplastics controlling this process are elusive. Here, we show that the gastrointestinal bioaccessibility, assessed using an in-vitro digestive model, of two model xenobiotics (pyrene, at 391-624 mg/kg,...
Article
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in aquatic environments where it interacts with a variety of particles including carbonaceous materials (CMs). The complexity of both DOM and the CMs makes DOM–CM interactions difficult to predict. In this study we have identified the preferential sorption of specific DOM fractions as being dependent on...
Article
Nanotechnology offers potential solutions for sustainable agriculture, including increasing nutrient utilization efficiency, improving the efficacy of pest management, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and reducing adverse environmental impacts of agricultural food production. Many promising nanotechnologies have been proposed and evaluated...
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The recent expansion in the use of nanomaterials in consumer and industrial applications has led to a growing concern over their behavior, fate, and impacts in environmental systems. However, engineered nanoparticles comprise only a small fraction of the total nanoparticle mass in aquatic systems. Human activities, particularly in urban watersheds,...
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Current nucleic acid (NA) nanotherapeutic approaches face challenges because of shortcomings such as limited control on loading-efficiency, complex formulation procedure involving purification steps, low load of NA cargo per nanoparticle, endosomal-trapping and hampered release inside the cell. When combined, these factors significantly limit the a...
Article
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In this study, an intra-laboratory assessment was carried out to establish the effectiveness of a method for the detection of TiO2 engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) present in sunscreen containing nano-scale TiO2 and a higher nanometer-range (approx. 200–500 nm) TiO2, as well as iron oxide particles. Three replicate measurements were performed on fiv...
Article
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The increasing use of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) for magnetic resonance imaging is leading to widespread contamination of freshwater and drinking water systems. Contrary to previous assumptions that GBCAs are stable throughout the water cycle, they can degrade. The stability of GBCAs depends largely on their organic ligands, but also...
Article
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Humic acid-coated goethite nanoparticles (HA-GoeNPs) have been recently proposed as an effective reagent for the in situ nanoremediation of contaminated aquifers. However, the effective dosage of these particles has been studied only at laboratory scale to date. This study investigates the possibility of using HA-GoeNPs in remediation of real field...
Article
Carbonates and cherts in the 3.35 billion-year-old Strelley Pool Formation (Fm.; Australia) host stromatolites that are among the oldest remnants of life on Earth. However, it is still not entirely clear whether these mineral phases are authigenic precipitates, and whether they represent reliable geochemical archives of early Earth environments. He...
Article
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Most contaminants of emerging concern are polar and/or ionizable organic compounds, whose removal from engineered and environmental systems is difficult. Carbonaceous sorbents include activated carbon, biochar, fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, with applications such as drinking water filtration, wastewater treatment and contaminant remediation. Too...
Article
The implementation and enforcement of product labeling obligation as required, for example, by the cosmetic product regulation, needs simple and precise validated analytical methods. This also applies to the analysis of nanoparticles in products such as cosmetics. However, the provision of such methods is often hampered by inaccurate sizing due to...
Article
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Heteroaggregation of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) with suspended particulate matter (SPM) ubiquitous in natural waters often dominates the transport behaviour and overall fate of ENPs in aquatic environments. In order to provide meaningful exposure predictions and support risk assessment for ENPs, environmental fate and transport models require...
Article
The application of nanoscale zerovalent iron (nano-ZVI) particles for groundwater remediation has spurred research into the influence of collector heterogeneity on nano-ZVI mobility. Chemical heterogeneity of surfaces within aquifer media affects their surface charge distribution and their affinity for nano-ZVI. Groundwater chemistry affects the pr...
Article
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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the third most used polymer for plastic products in the European Union (+NO/ CH) and contains the highest amounts of additives, especially phthalic acid esters (phthalates). Leaching kinetics of additives from (micro-) plastics into aqueous environments are highly relevant for environmental risk assessment and modelling...
Article
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Tire materials are the most commonly found elastomers in the environment and they account for a significant fraction of microplastic pollution. In the discussions on the environmental impact of microplastics tire materials and their sorption properties have been largely overlooked. In this study we used experimental sorption data from six organic p...
Article
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Soot is an important carbonaceous nanoparticle (CNP) frequently found in natural environments. Their entry into surface waters can occur directly via surface runoff or infiltration, as well as via atmospheric deposition. Pristine soot is likely to rapidly undergo aggregation and subsequent sedimentation in aquatic environments. Further, soot can so...
Article
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Copper oxide and hydroxide nanoparticles (Cu-NPs) are components of some commercial pesticides. When these Cu-NPs dissolve in the environment, their size distribution, efficacy, and toxicity are altered. Since acute toxicity screens typically involve pristine NPs, quantification of the transformation of their size distribution in edible leaf vegeta...
Article
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In many seagrass sediments, lucinid bivalves and their sulfur-oxidizing symbionts are thought to underpin key ecosystem functions, but little is known about their role in nutrient cycles, particularly nitrogen. We used natural stable isotopes, elemental analyses, and stable isotope probing to study the ecological stoichiometry of a lucinid symbiosi...
Article
In many seagrass sediments, lucinid bivalves and their sulfur-oxidizing symbionts are thought to underpin key ecosystem functions, but little is known about their role in nutrient cycles, particularly nitrogen. We used natural stable isotopes, elemental analyses, and stable isotope probing to study the ecological stoichiometry of a lucinid symbiosi...
Article
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The beneficial properties of biochar have led to its increasing application to soils for environmental management. Despite its stability in soil, biochar can physically disintegrate into smaller particles, which can then be relocated from the application area. Biochar transport is strongly dependent on the biochar particle size and aggregation, wit...
Article
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Once in the ocean, plastics are rapidly colonized by complex microbial communities. Factors affecting the development and composition of these communities are still poorly understood. Additionally, whether there are plastic-type specific communities developing on different plastics remains enigmatic. We determined the development and succession of...
Article
Laboratory and field studies have demonstrated the applicability of nanoparticles (NP) for accelerated contaminant degradation. Beside other limitations, (e.g. costs, delivery, longevity, non-target specific reactions), concerns of regulators arose regarding toxicity of injected NP and particles delivered off-target (i.e. renegade particles). Reneg...
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Complex subsurface contamination domains and limited efficacy of existing treatment approaches pose significant challenges to site remediation and underscore the need for technological innovation to develop cost-effective remedies. Here, we discuss opportunities for nanotechnology-enabled in situ remediation technologies to address soil and groundw...
Article
Tire materials are a significant proportion of the (micro)plastics in the environment that until today have been clearly overlooked. These materials are released into the environment, either unintentionally as an abrasion product from tire wear, that reaches the environment via road runoff, or intentionally as, for example, shredded “tire crumble r...
Article
The Iron Gate I Reservoir is the largest impoundment on the Danube River. It retains >50% of the incoming total suspended solids load and the associated organic contaminants. In the sediment core of the Iron Gate I Reservoir we report the presence and fate of four classes of emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, pesticides, steroids and perfluori...
Article
Plastics are now found in all natural environments including soil. The effects of microplastics in terrestrial systems, however, remain largely unexplored. Polyethylene is one of the mass-manufactured polymers found in terrestrial environments. It is used in many different sectors, for example in agricultural mulches, composite materials, and packa...
Article
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Correction for ‘Environmental transformation of natural and engineered carbon nanoparticles and implications for the fate of organic contaminants’ by Gabriel Sigmund et al. , Environ. Sci.: Nano , 2018, 5 , 2500–2518.
Article
The European Union (EU) has adopted nano-specific provisions for cosmetics, food and biocides, among others, which include binding definitions of the term “nanomaterial”. Here we take an interdisciplinary approach to analyse the respective definitions from a legal and practical perspective. Our assessment reveals that the definitions contain severa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Extracellular DNA is a major macromolecule in global element cycles, and is a particularly crucial phosphorus as well as nitrogen and carbon source for microorganisms in the seafloor. Nevertheless, the identities, ecophysiology and genetic features of key DNA-foraging microorganisms in marine sediments are completely unknown. Here we combined micro...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental transformation of carbon nanoparticles can significantly affect their transport, fate, and effects. The last decade of environmental nano-science has often focused on understanding the behavior of well-defined engineered carbon nanoparticles (eCNPs) in the natural environment. However, more complex pyrogenic/petrogenic carbon nanopart...
Article
Triapine, the most prominent anticancer drug candidate from the substance class of thiosemicarbazones, was investigated in >30 clinical phase I and II studies. However, the results were rather disappointing against solid tumors, which can be explained (at least partially) due to inefficient delivery to the tumor site. Hence, we synthesized the firs...
Article
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A versatile approach to determine the elemental content of more than 50 elements in different components of electronic devices on the example of smartphones was developed. The analytical protocol is based on accurate disassembly of smartphones, a single processing microwave-assisted acid digestion followed by ICP-OES and ICP-MS measurements. Method...
Article
Standardized methods for assessing the behaviour of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) under relevant environmental conditions are an important part of ENM risk assessment. Existing assays, often developed for traditional chemicals, are frequently not applicable to ENMs, which present special challenges due to their particulate nature and complex intr...
Article
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Amendment with biochar and/or compost has been proposed as a strategy to remediate soil contaminated with low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The strong sorption potential of biochar can help sequestering contaminants while the compost may promote their degradation. An improved understanding of how sorption evolves upon soil amendment i...
Data
Raw data on sorption of pyrene to biochar, soil and compost.
Article
Microplastics that are released into the environment undergo aging and interact with other substances such as organic contaminants. Understanding the sorption interactions between aged microplastics and organic contaminants is therefore essential for evaluating the impact of microplastics on the environment. There is little information available on...
Article
Full-text available
Engineered nanoparticles offer the potential for remediation of land and water that has been contaminated by organics and metals. Microbially synthesized nano-scale magnetite, prepared from Fe(III) oxides by subsurface Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, offers a scalable biosynthesis route to such a nano-scale remediation reagent. To underpin delivery of "...
Article
This article contains data on experimental sorption isotherms of 21 probe sorbates by aged polystyrene microplastics. The polymeric particles were subjected to an UV-induced photo-oxidation procedure using hydrogen peroxide in a custom-made aging chamber. Sorption data were obtained for aged particles. The experimental sorption data was modelled us...
Article
Tire wear particles (TWP), generated from tire material during use on roads have gained increasing attention as part of organic particulate contaminants, such as microplastic, in aquatic environments. The available information on properties and generation of TWP, analytical techniques to determine TWP, emissions, occurrence and behavior and ecotoxi...
Article
Full-text available
A lot of research efforts are currently dedicated to the development of nano-enabled agrochemicals. Knowledge about their environmental behaviour is however scarce, which impedes the assessment of the new risk...
Article
Detecting and quantifying nanoparticles (NPs) in complex environmental matrices, and distinguishing between natural nanoparticles (NNPs) and engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) that often exhibit very similar properties, requires reliable and sensitive analytical tools that are both time-efficient and cost-efficient. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs, for in...
Article
Diffusely contaminated soils often remain untreated as classical remediation approaches would be disproportionately expensive. Adding compost can accelerate the biodegradation of organic contaminants and adding biochar can immobilize contaminants through sorption. The combined use of compost and biochar to reduce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PA...
Article
Milled zerovalent iron (milled ZVI) particles have been recognized as a promising agent for groundwater remediation because of (1) their high reactivity with chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides, organic dyes, and a number of inorganic contaminants, and (2) a possible greater persistance than the more extensively investigat...
Article
The sorption of ionic and ionizable organic compounds (IOCs) (e.g., pharmaceuticals and pesticides) on carbonaceous materials plays an important role in governing the fate, transport and bioavailability of IOCs. The paradigms previously established for the sorption of neutral organic compounds do not always apply to IOCs and the importance of accou...
Article
Biochar has a number of environmental applications including soil amendment for agriculture, remediation of contaminated soils and sediments, and climate change mitigation. Dust formed during its production and field application may pose a health risk but the cytotoxicity of biochar has, to our knowledge, not previously been investigated. Therefore...
Article
Full-text available
The affinity between nano-scale zero-valent iron (nano-ZVI) and mineral surfaces hinders its mobility, and hence its delivery into contaminated aquifers. We have tested the hypothesis that the attachment of poly(acrylic acid)-coated nano-ZVI (PAA-nano-ZVI) to mineral surfaces could be limited by coating such surfaces with sodium (Na) humate prior t...
Article
The ruthenium drug and GRP78 inhibitor KP1339/IT-139 has already demonstrated promising anticancer activity in a phase I clinical trial. This study aimed to identify mechanisms underlying increased sensitivity to KP1339 treatment. Based on a screen utilizing 23 cell lines, a small panel was selected to compare KP1339-sensitive and low-responsive mo...
Article
Full-text available
High Ca concentrations in complex matrices such as river waters often hamper detection of titanium nanomaterials (TiO2 NPs) by single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICPMS), because of isobaric interferences of ⁴⁸Ca on the most abundant Ti isotope (⁴⁸Ti). Several approaches were used to reduce this interference while measur...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of ageing on biochar properties has been investigated by comparing three fresh biochars with biochars artificially aged by either H2O2 thermal oxidation or horseradish peroxidase enzymatic oxidation. In addition, a field-aged counterpart for one of the biochars was recovered from an agricultural field site, four years after applicatio...
Article
Compost (10%) and biochar (5%) amendment to soil is not toxic to C. elegans. • EC50 Reproduction for pyrene were 14 and 31 mg/kg (soil dry weight) for two different soils, respectively. • Combined addition of compost and bio-char most effectively reduced porewater concentrations and toxicity of pyrene. • The porewater concentration predicted 52% of...