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Home > News > Towards a green nanotechnology

August 8th, 2005

Towards a green nanotechnology

Mark R. Wiesner: Will nanotechnology be different? Along with the early euphoria and hype that typically surround the rollout of new technologies, nanotechnology has been the subject of projections concerning its possible environmental risks well before its wide-scale commercialization. Raising such questions when nanotechnology is still in its infancy may result in better, safer products and less long-term liability for industry.

An encouraging trend is that the methods used to produce nanomaterials often become “greener” as they move from the laboratory to industrial production. Setting aside the issue of nanomaterials’ toxicity, preliminary results suggest that fabricating nanomaterials entails risks that are less than or comparable to those associated with many current industrial activities. (Mark R. Wiesner is Director of the Environmental and Energy Systems Institute at Rice University)


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