Title: Nanostructured Materials for Environmental Improvement by Monitoring, Remediation and Pollution Prevention
Authors: RICKERBY David
Citation: 7th International Nanotechnology Symposium
Publisher: VDI Wissensforum GmbH
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC52768
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC52768
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Nanotechnology holds promise for improving the environment, in reducing waste and our dependence on non-renewable natural resources, and for cleaning up pollution. Detection and measurement of pollution is a necessary step towards initiating remedial action and nanotechnology is providing essential components for the development of improved systems for environmental monitoring. Advances in sensor and biochip technology are being applied to provide more sensitive detection techniques for air and water quality monitoring. New synthesis methods for efficient metal oxide nanocatalysts can help reduce pollution due to industrial and transport emissions. Chemical activity is dependent on the crystal and surface structures as well as the constituent elements, so precise control at the nanoscale during synthesis is a key factor in improving performance. The photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide nanoparticles can be exploited to produce ¿self-cleaning¿ architectural coatings that are able to degrade volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants into less toxic species. Filtration and purification plants used to treat drinking water and wastewater are generally only partly successful due to the relative inefficiency of the active materials. Due to their greater specific surface area, iron nanoparticles are significantly more effective filtration media than larger particles of the same material. A range of environmental nanotechnologies are already close to market and, once performance and safety have been verified in the field, have potential for very rapid growth.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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