Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Using engineered nanoparticles to increase carbon dioxide storage in the ocean

Carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere by increasing the phytoplankton population in the oceans using nutrients. Life cycle assessment, cost analyses and data from previous studies reveal that engineered nanoparticles could increase the efficiency of this process and that it can be made affordable, viable, and safe for marine ecosystems.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: The conceptual model of artificial ocean fertilization based on conventional and new approaches.


  1. Boyd, P. W. et al. Mesoscale iron enrichment experiments 1993-2005: synthesis and future directions. Science 315, 61–617 (2007). A seminal review article that describes ocean fertilization field experiments.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Smetacek, V. et al. Deep carbon export from a Southern Ocean iron-fertilized diatom bloom. Nature 487, 313 (2012). A study that demonstrates ocean fertilization accompanied by carbon removal.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Williamson, P. et al. Ocean fertilization for geoengineering: a review of effectiveness, environmental impacts and emerging governance. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 90, 475–488 (2012). A review article emphasizing the environmental effects of ocean fertilization.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Hochella, M. F. et al. Natural, incidental, and engineered nanomaterials and their impacts on the Earth system. Science 363, 6434 (2019). A review article that maps the influence and fate of engineered nanoparticles on Earth, including within the oceans.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chen, F. et al. Algae response to engineered nanoparticles: current understanding, mechanisms and implications. Environ. Sci. Nano 6, 1026–1042 (2019). A review of the different interactions of engineered nanoparticles with algae.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This is a summary of: Babakhani, P. et al. Potential use of engineered nanoparticles in ocean fertilization for large-scale atmospheric carbon dioxide removal. Nat. Nanotechnol. (2022).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Using engineered nanoparticles to increase carbon dioxide storage in the ocean. Nat. Nanotechnol. 17, 1245–1246 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research