Background: The application of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) to remediate soil and
groundwater has gained increased attention within the last decade, primarily due to their high reactivity,
cost-effectiveness and potential to treat a broad range of contaminants (e.g., chlorinated organic solvents,
inorganic anions, or metals).
Objective: In this paper, the state of the art of applicability of nanomaterials, especially the most frequently
used nZVI in soil and groundwater, is presented. The purpose of this article is to give an overview
of the current knowledge pertaining to the synthesis, employment, limitations, and risk of iron
Methods: Therefore, the authors have reviewed and discussed the recent patents and papers related to
the developments and approaches made on the synthesis of iron nanoparticles, emphasizing the justification
of green synthesis methods. The studies related to the effective use of nanoparticles in remediating
organic and inorganic contaminants are addressed. The potential limitations, challenges, and risks
of this innovative nanoremediation technology are also discussed.
Results: Studies suggest that nZVI have successfully been applied in nanoremediation; however, little
is known about the particles’ fate and impacts. Additionally, it has already been proven that synthesis
and modification can largely determine the physicochemical and biological properties of the particles.
Conclusion: This review corroborates the suitability of nanoparticles in the remediation of contaminated
media, simultaneously highlighting the work still needed to optimize the syntheses and careful use
of such materials, concluding that comprehensive screenings should be performed prior to nZVI applications
to assess their behavior and impact on the environment and living systems.