SimpleBox4.0-nano is based on the SimpleBox model which is a multimedia mass balance model of the so-called ‘Mackay type’. It simulates the environmental fate of chemicals such as fluxes (mass flows) between a series of well-mixed boxes of air, water, sediment and soil on regional, continental and global spatial scales. SimpleBox is a first-principles model in the sense that it internally derives mass flow rates from physical and chemical substance properties, and models environmental characteristics. It takes user-specified release rates and nanomaterial related characteristics as input, producing exposure concentrations in the environment as output.

Visual of the SimpleBox4nano model


SimpleBox4.0-nano is a variant of the SimpleBox model, which is designed tosimulate the specific environmental behaviour of nanomaterials. The main adaptation consists of adding three particulate chemical species  to the dissolved species already included in SimpleBox. SimpleBox4.0-nano calculates mass flows of nanomaterials by simultaneously solving mass balance equations for 4 different chemical species for each environmental compartment in the model.

Fit for nano

Documentation on the model definition that is added to simplebox is documented in the supporting info of this scientific paper. This adaptation includes the addition of three particulate chemical species in the model and making the model fit for nano using particle specific transport and transformation processes. The three particulate chemical species consist of: i) the emitted nanomaterial, ii) smaller heteroagglomerates (<450 nm) consisting of nanomaterial and natural colloids or aerosols and iii) bigger heteroagglomerates (>450 nm) consisting of nanomaterials and other particulates found in air, water and soil.

Model code

SimpleBox is primarily operated as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, supported by numerical computations in R for time dependent analysis. Currently, we advise to use R directly to read in the spreadsheet, as the macro using the RExcel addon often does not work. Documentation has been published for model versions 1-4 in various technical RIVM documents [1, 2, 3, 4].


The SimpleBox spreadsheet model (v20161122) and its documentation files are freely available for non-commercial use. In order to download the SimpleBox4.0-nano tool you will be requested to fill in a short registration form. After submitting the form, you can download the tool immediately. For more information, please contact


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