A Critical Study of the Potential Health Effects of Nanotechnology in the Oil and Gas Industry
A Biological & Medical Sciences, Engineering, Physical Sceince project
Nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry can be described as an emerging
scientific advancement, where nanoparticles (1 – 100 nanometers) are engineered
to create new large scale materials which are used for novel applications.1
Some nanoparticles such as aluminum oxide have been reported to enhance oil recovery
(EOR) and are speculated to be good in-situ agents for solving reservoir engineering
problems.2,3 Despite the perceived economic importance of nanotechnology,
the occupational health risks associated with manufacturing and using
nanomaterials are not yet clearly understood.1 At the nanoscale,
materials begin to exhibit unique properties that affect physical, chemical and
biological behavior. Minimal information is currently available on dominant
exposure routes, potential exposure levels, and material toxicity of
for Topic: EOR, which is an important use of nanotechnology can
be achieved using aluminum oxide nanoparticle with distilled water and brine as
dispersing agents thereby decreasing oil viscosity and increasing oil recovery.3
It is predicted that EOR using nanoparticles can be a solution to the recent
global rise in energy demand. If this is so, majority of the oil and gas
companies may subscribe to the suggestion of using nanotechnology EOR to meet
the recent global rise in energy demand even without adequate information on
the health implications of exposure to nanoparticles by workers and community
members of oil producing regions such as the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The
Royal Society outlines the potential for nanoparticles to penetrate the skin
and recommends that the use of nanoparticles be conditional upon a favourable
assessment by expert committees. Other medical researchers have reported that
some nanoparticles may move easily into sensitive lung tissues upon inhalation
and cause chronic respiratory problems.4
Aims: The purpose of my proposed thesis is to contribute to
sustainable development in the oil and gas industry by ferreting out optimum control
measures and adequate personal protective equipment for workers in the oil and
gas industry where nanotechnology is used. Secondly, uncovering significant
hazards associated with the use of nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry
and studying the health effects of some nanoparticles used in the oil and gas
industry such as oxides of aluminum, magnesium, nickel and zirconium.
In vitro cytotoxicity methods which includes proliferative assay, apoptosis
assay, inflammatory assay and oxidative stress.5,6
Relevance: Results from my proposed thesis will help protect the
workforce, promote public health and preserve the ecosystem in oil producing
regions. Secondly, results from my proposed research can help community members
of oil producing regions to be proactive as regards their health by providing
useful health and safety information to them.
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information
Division. Workplace Safety & Health Topics. Nanotechnology Overview. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/.
Published April 4, 2013. Accessed May 25, 2015.
Ogolo NA., Olafuyi O.A., and
Onyekonwu, MO. Trapping Mechanism of Nanofluids on Migrating Fines in Sand. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2013.PTDF Research Group, Institute of
Petroleum Studies, UNIPORT.
NA, Onyekonwu, MO., and Akaranta, O. Impact of Hydrocarbon on the Performance
of Nanoparticles in Control of Fine Migration. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2013. PTDF Research Group, Institute of Petroleum Studies, UNIPORT.
A. Nanotechnology: A Research Strategy for Addressing Risks. P. 310.
P., and Mahant, S. In Vitro methods for Nanotoxicity Assessment: Advantages and
Applications. Archives of Applied Science
Research, 2011, 3 (2):389-403.
A., and Sharma V. Toxicity Assessment of Nanomaterials: Methods and Challenges.
Anal Bioanal Chem 2010 (398):589-605.
|Academic Institution:||University of Cincinnati|
|Course:||Industrial Hygiene, 2015-2018|
|User Profile:||Kelechi Isiugo|
What is your motivation for doing a PhD?
Reducing the health disparity amongst populations and social classes
Why did you choose your research topic/title
Awarded National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Education and Research Center (ERC) Scholarship. Significant experience in data analysis with SAS, SPSS, R, MS Excel, Oracle MySQL and Citation tools such as EndNote and Refworks. Experience in air monitoring using 3M 3500 organic vapor diffusion monitors, TO-15 canisters, Anderson pumps, UltraRAE 3000, ToxiRAE and MultiRAE monitoring equipment. Director, University of Ibadan Physiology Students Association (UIPSA).
What difference will this research make in your life and the lives of others?
Results from my proposed thesis will help protect the workforce, promote public health and preserve the ecosystem in oil producing regions. Secondly, results from my proposed research can help community members of oil producing regions to be proactive as regards their health by providing useful health and safety information to them.