Arkema, CNRS, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse and Université Paul Sabatier have signed a framework agreement to set up a joint research laboratory, NAUTILE (NAnotUbes et écoToxIcoLogiE), the first public/private joint laboratory dedicated to the study of the ecotoxicological impact of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the aquatic environment.
Since committing in 2006 to manufacture CNTs at its Lacq research center, Arkema has always placed prevention, the control of risks, and the development of knowledge at the center of its concerns. préoccupations la protection de ses salariés, de ses clients et de l'environnement, en application du principe de précaution As regards the environment précisément, from the very beginning Arkema began to undertake fundamental studies jointly with Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT) in order to better characterize any ecotoxicological impact that CNTs may have. Arkema has now decided to boost this research by setting up with Toulouse CNRS, INPT and Université Paul Sabatier, the NAUTILE joint research laboratory, which will be dedicated to the study of multiwall CNTs in the aquatic environment. For CNRS, this agreement should enable new advances in CNT characterization through the pooling of the skills and expertise of its laboratories with Arkema's.
With their extensive field of applications and their outstanding properties, CNTs stand apart from the many categories of nanomaterials now available. Hence their potential effects on health and the environment represent an area of continuous investigation. This joint laboratory, drawing on the INPT, CNRS, and Université Paul Sabatier joint research units in collaboration with Arkema's own researchers, will be tasked with the development of experimental protocols and standardized methods for the study of the ecotoxicological properties of CNTs. It will therefore help develop knowledge of the potential impact of multiwall CNTs on aquatic species, at every stage of their lifecycle (development, production, use, and end-of-life of products featuring CNTs).
The NAUTILE program is one of the components of the GENESIS program, which is managed and run by Arkema at European level.