Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Green Nanotechnology Investment: Researchers Help Assess Economic Impact of Nanotech on Green & Sustainable Growth

Image shows nanogenerators developed in the laboratory of Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Credit: Gary Meek
Image shows nanogenerators developed in the laboratory of Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Credit: Gary Meek

Abstract:
In the United States alone, government and private industry together invest more than $3 billion per year in nanotechnology research and development, and globally the total is much higher. What will be the long-run economic returns from these investments, not only in new jobs and product sales, but also from improvements in sustainability?

Green Nanotechnology Investment: Researchers Help Assess Economic Impact of Nanotech on Green & Sustainable Growth

Atlanta, GA | Posted on March 28th, 2012

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers Philip Shapira and Jan Youtie helped answer that question through research presented March 27th at the International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology held in Washington, D.C. The researchers highlighted the importance of full lifecycle assessments to understand the impacts of nanotechnologies on green economic development in such areas as energy, the environment and safe drinking water.



"Nanotechnology promises to foster green and sustainable growth in many product and process areas," said Shapira, a professor with Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. "Although nanotechnology commercialization is still in its early phases, we need now to get a better sense of what markets will grow and how new nanotechnology products will impact sustainability. This includes balancing gains in efficiency and performance against the net energy, environmental, carbon and other costs associated with the production, use and end-of-life disposal or recycling of nanotechnology products."



But because nanotechnology underlies many different industries, assessing and forecasting its impact won't be easy. "Compared to information technology and biotechnology, for example, nanotechnology has more of the characteristics of a general technology such as the development of electric power," said Youtie, director of policy research services at Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute. "That makes it difficult to analyze the value of products and processes that are enabled by the technology. We hope that our paper will provide background information and help frame the discussion about making those assessments."



The symposium is sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and by the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. Support for Georgia Tech research into the societal impacts of nanotechnology has come from the National Science Foundation through the Center for Nanotechnology in Society based at Arizona State University.



For their paper, co-authors Shapira and Youtie examined a subset of green nanotechnologies that aim to enable sustainable energy, improve environmental quality, and provide healthy drinking water for areas of the world that now lack it. They argue that the lifecycle of nanotechnology products must be included in the assessment.



"In examining the economic impact of these green nanotechnologies, we have to consider the lifecycle, which includes such issues as environmental health and safety, as well as the amount of energy required to produce materials such as carbon nanotubes," said Shapira.



Environmental concerns have been raised about what happens to nanomaterials when they get into water supplies, he noted. In addition, some nanostructures use toxic elements such as cadmium. Energy required for producing nano-enabled products is also an important consideration, though it may be balanced against the energy saved - and pollution reduced - through the use of such products, Shapira said.



Research into these societal issues, which is being conducted in parallel with the research and development of nanotechnology - may allow the resulting nano-enabled products to avoid the kinds of the controversies that have hindered earlier technologies.



"Scientists, policy-makers and other observers have found that some of the promise of prior rounds of technology was limited by not anticipating and considering societal concerns prior to the introduction of new products," Youtie said. "For nanotechnology, it is vital that these issues are being considered even during the research and development stage, before products hit the market in significant quantities."



The nanotechnology industry began with large companies that had the resources to invest in research and development. But that is now changing, Youtie said.



"A lot of small companies are involved in novel nanomaterials development," she said. "Large companies often focus on integrating those nanomaterials into existing products or processes."



Among the goals of the OECD symposium are development of methodologies and approaches for estimating the impacts of green nanotechnology on jobs and new product sales. Existing forecasts have come largely from proprietary models used by private-sector firms.



"While these private forecasts have high visibility, their information and methods are often proprietary," Shapira noted. "We also need to develop open and peer-reviewed models in which approaches are transparent and everyone can see the methods and assumptions used."



In their paper, Youtie and Shapira cite several examples of green nanotechnology, discuss the potential impacts of the technology, and review forecasts that have been made. Examples of green nanotechnology they cite include:



· Nano-enabled solar cells that use lower-cost organic materials, as opposed to current photovoltaic technologies that require rare materials such as platinum;

· Nanogenerators that use piezoelectric materials such as zinc oxide nanowires to convert human movement into energy;

· Energy storage applications in which nanotechnology materials improve existing batteries and nano-enabled fuel cells;

· Thermal energy applications, such as nano-enabled insulation;

· Fuel catalysis in which nanoparticles improve the production and refining of fuels and reduce emissions from automobiles;

· Technologies used to provide safe drinking water through improved water treatment, desalination and reuse.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Research News & Publications Office
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contacts:
John Toon
404-894-6986


Abby Robinson
404-385-3364

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Production of Zirconium Carbide Nanoparticles at Low Temperature without Thermal Operations July 5th, 2015

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Possible Futures

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company D-Wave Systems Announces 1,000 Qubit Processor and is Discussed in the Economist June 23rd, 2015

Global Nanoclays Market Analysis, Size, Growth, Trends And Segment Forecasts, 2015 To 2022: Grand View Research, Inc June 15th, 2015

Healthcare Nanotechnology (Nanomedicine) Market Size To 2020 June 5th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Discovery of nanotubes offers new clues about cell-to-cell communication July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Cellulose from wood can be printed in 3-D June 17th, 2015

Announcements

Production of Zirconium Carbide Nanoparticles at Low Temperature without Thermal Operations July 5th, 2015

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Production of Zirconium Carbide Nanoparticles at Low Temperature without Thermal Operations July 5th, 2015

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Environment

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Energy

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

June 29th, 2015

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Water

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

Dais Analytic Unveils New Version of Aqualyte Membrane Technology: Updates to the Basis of the Company's Industry-Changing Nanotechnology Designed to Strengthen Position in Global Air, Energy, and Water Markets June 26th, 2015

Bacteria Cellulose, Natural Polymers with Applications in Various Industries Synthesized in Iran June 22nd, 2015

Ceramic Nanomembrane, New Material for Dehydration of Natural Gas June 7th, 2015

Home

Solar cells in the roof and nanotechnology in the walls June 16th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Continues Global Development Focus on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Applications: Industrial Nanotech Continues Connecting With Manufacturers Who Seek Out Their Patented Thermal Insulation and Protective Coatings June 11th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Article About the Evolution of Roof Coatings in Durability + Design Magazine June 9th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces Official Launch of the Eagle Platinum Tile™ May 19th, 2015

Industrial

Production of Zirconium Carbide Nanoparticles at Low Temperature without Thermal Operations July 5th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Find Simple, Economic Method to Synthesize Antibacterial Nanoparticles July 2nd, 2015

Green Chemistry Methods Used in Iran to Produce Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles June 27th, 2015

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells June 25th, 2015

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

New micro-supercapacitor structure inspired by the intricate design of leaves: A team of scientists in Korea has devised a new method for making a graphene film for supercapacitors July 2nd, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

June 29th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Fuel Cells

The Hydrogen-Fuel cell will revolutionize the economy of the world: New non-platinum and nanosized catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell June 29th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Buckle up for fast ionic conduction June 16th, 2015

A protective shield for sensitive catalysts: Hydrogels block harmful oxygen June 15th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Spain nanotechnology featured at NANO KOREA 2015 June 26th, 2015

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells June 25th, 2015

Toward tiny, solar-powered sensors: New ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent June 23rd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project