Safer life cycle of advanced 2D materials used in energy applications – Safe2energy

Bidimensional materials (2DM) are an emerging class of outstanding advanced materials attracting increasing interest in various technological fields and energy applications. Due to the increasing concerns for human and environmental safety, Safe2energy aims at anticipating potential emerging issues by characterizing the currently unknown hazard posed by novel 2DM-based technologies along their life cycle.
A scientist adjusting switch in fume hood in lab cleanroom.




The aim of Safe2energy is to assess the potential toxicity and occupational risks of bidimensional materials, proposing, if needed, management measures to be taken by industries to mitigate them. For that, Safe2energy will focus on commercially available black phosphorus (BP) and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) that, beside graphene, are currently the most promising 2DM for energy applications.

These materials have been chosen as case studies to derive a roadmap for the assessment of occupational and environmental safety issues along their entire life cycle.

Data and methods

The goals of Safe2energy will be achieved through:

  1. Assessment of BP and hBN (eco)toxicological impact

    Regulatory-relevant toxicity data of 2DM will be generated by implementing a reliable testing strategy and applying OECD/ISO guidelines, innovative New Approach Methodologies and the latest procedures developed within the OECD Manufactured Nanomaterials Working Party programme and EU Malta Initiative.

  2. Life Cycle (LCA) and Risk Assessment (RA)

    The occupational safety risks related to the production of BP and hBN will be evaluated through RA, based on exposure and hazard assessments and literature data. Furthermore, LCA will evaluate additional risks for sustainability.

  3. Identification of risk management and mitigation measures

    Based on the identified key risk(s) for the environment and workers, appropriate management and mitigation guidelines to avoid potential risks associated with 2DM-based energy technologies will be proposed.