Tiny Tech and Green Tech: Partners for the Future
GreenBiz.com is reporting an interesting article about the environmental benefits of nanotechnology. In a recent report, researchers and environmentalists from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology listed the four possible ways in which nanotechnology can have a positive impact on the environment.
“Green technology” is the name given to nanotechnology that is designed and conceptualized with “the environment on the mind” according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnolgoy. The four ways in which nanotechnology can be a direct help to the environment, according to GreenBiz.com are the following:
Creating new nanotechnology-enabled products and processes that are environmentally benign – or “clean and green”;
Managing nanomaterials and their production to minimize potential environmental, health, and safety risks; Using nanotechnology to clean up toxic waste site and other legacy pollution problems;
Substituting green nanotechnology products for existing products that are less environmentally friendly.
According to the report, the United States seems to be emerging as the number one country for nanotechnology research. Combine this with the United States’ recent significant commitment to environmentally friendly energy policies and you have a formula for producing environmentally friendly nanotechnology, especially if that nanotechnology can somehow assists in producing green energy and ease dependence on foreign energy sources.
For example, Nanotechnology may prove to be a method by which to reduce the amount of resources necessary in producing solar power panels.”>Overall, it seems that the report wants to emphasis that green nanotechnology is not a “niche” among scientists and environmental researchers, but rather a “commercially viable” option for businesses and governments.
Finally, it is good to see that the report highlights the positive aspects of nanotechnology outside of medicine (e.g. nanotechnology being used to combat cancerous cells). It seems that sometimes people are uneasy about nanotechnology because either they find the technology unfathomable or they feel threaten due to the size of nanodevices. Yet, the report argues, rightly, that nanotechnology, like all technology, depending on who is behind the technology, can be a means to improving the lives of people.