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Green Nanotechnologies for Responsible Manufacturing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Ashok Vaseashta
Affiliation:, Nanomaterials Processing and Charcaterization Labs., Graduate Program in Physical Sciences, 13740 Langstone Drive, Woodbridge, VA, 22193, United States, 7035903143
Renata Reisfeld
Affiliation:, The Hebrew University, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Jerusalem, N/A, Israel
Ion N. Mihailescu
Affiliation:, National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Lasers Department, Laser-Surface-Plasma Interactions Laboratory, PO Box MG-54, RO-77125, Bucharest-Magurele, N/A, Romania
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A perpetual increase in population and thus consumption of fossil fuels has led to increased pollution worldwide. Pollution in large metropolitan cities has reached an alarming level and is widely believed to be the leading contributor to chronic and deadly health disorders and diseases affecting millions of people each year. Although correlation between environmental pollution and global warming is debatable, the effects of pollution and its impact on human health are irrefutable and highly observable. Use of nanomaterials to generate energy, in an attempt to reduce environmental pollution, is in its preliminary stages and requires urgent and detailed investigation. This investigation focuses on three aspects of sustainability, (a): use of nanomaterials to monitor, detect, and remediate the environmental pollution, (b): responsible manufacturing of nanomaterials by employing principles of “green chemistry”, and (c): to drastically reduce waste and emission by-products employing use of nanomaterials as catalysts for enhanced efficiency. The synthesis of nanomaterials is accomplished by processes employing processes such as electrospinning, sol-gel, and MAPLE to drastically reduce and isolate emission and waste by-products. An exhaustive overview of the scope of our investigation and some specific applications relating to the use of nanomaterials in environmental friendly investigations, viz.; applications of nanomaterials as catalysts for enhanced efficiency, materials in CO2 sequestration, remediation of toxic metals in water streams, efficient thin film photovoltaic devices, fuel cells, and biodegradable consumable products is described. Fate and transport of nanomaterials in air, water, and soil; life-cycle analysis, and methodologies to conduct risk-assessment in the context of source reduction and conservation is discussed as a step towards sustainability.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2008

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