Open menu

Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

RSS Subscribe to our Nanotechnology Spotlight feed

Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 109 in category Green Nanotechnology (newest first):


Towards green, lightweight and highly efficient silk nanofiber-based air filters

silkworm_cocoonThe serious threat of particulate matter (PM) air pollution to human health spurs development of advanced filter technologies. Particular efforts have been made in designing air filters with both high filtration efficiency and low airflow resistance by utilizing carbon nanotubes and electrospun polymer and inorganic nanofibers. In new work, scientists explored the performance of electrospun silk nanofiber membranes as air filters, which showed both of lightweight and high efficient features.

Posted: Jul 13th, 2016

Plasmonic photothermic solar-powered seawater catalysis and desalination

solar_energyNewly developed nanocomposites possess efficient photothermic properties for highly targeted interfacial phase transition reactions that are synergistically favorable for seawater catalysis and desalination. The nanocomposites are seawater and photostable for practical solar conversion of seawater to simultaneously produce clean energy and water. This work defines the forefront of plasmonic photothermic technology, which is vastly untapped and has broad implications in other fields.

Posted: Jul 12th, 2016

Solar-driven water purification with multifunctional papers

graphene_filterInspired by the multiple water purification mechanisms of water hyacinth, a group of researchers has combined different decontamination techniques - adsorption, photocatalytic degradation, distillation - into a single paper-based composite system for water purification by using solar light as the clean energy input. Compared with water treatment with a single mechanism, the multifunctional composite reported in this work could significantly enhance the clean water generation efficiency and maximize the use of the broad-spectrum solar light in a facile and effective way.

Posted: Jun 14th, 2016

A nanotechnology approach to scavenging wind and solar energy in cities

energy_harvestingSelf-powered nanotechnology based on these nanogenerators aims at powering nanodevices and nanosystems using the energy harvested from the environment in which these systems are suppose to operate. An interesting approach comes from a group of Chinese scientists who propose to scavenge the large amounts of wasted wind energy in cities: they propose hybridized nanogenerator that consists of a solar cell and a triboelectric nanogenerator, which can be utilized to individually or simultaneously scavenge solar and wind energies.

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

Green nano: Positive environmental effects through the use of nanotechnology

green_nanoThis dossier is concerned with the question to what extent a concept along the lines of the 'green nano design principles' developed by the German NanoCommission can contribute to environmentally friendly developments in the area of nanotechnology. For this purpose, it introduces research projects which have implemented certain aspects of the green nano design principles. Moreover, on the basis of technological and scientific research and development, the question is raised whether or not, and if so, to what extent concepts such as green nano design principles can support the incorporation of environmental aspects into research.

Posted: Jan 15th, 2016

Identifying nanopollution

colorimetric_assayEngineered nanoparticles are being used in a wide range of product areas, including composite materials, coatings, electronics, food, agriculture, cosmetics, healthcare, and biotechnology. As a consequence, human exposure to nanoparticles has become a prominent environmental concern; especially since these potential pollutants are not visible to the human eye or detectable by smell. However, there is no current technology that provides rapid, sensitive and highly portable detection and identification of nanoparticles. Now though, researchers have developed a simple colorimetric sensor array approach capable of detection and unambiguous differentiation of a wide range of nanoparticles in aqueous solutions.

Posted: Jan 4th, 2016

Just shake it! A simple way to remove nanomaterial pollutants from water

nanoparticlesWhile 'conventional' water contaminants can be cleaned up by state-of-the-art technologies with filtration and condensation processes, this is not the case for nanoscale pollutants. Researchers have demonstrated that water contaminated with nanomaterials can be cleaned up by a 'hand shaking' approach that can be performed even in a kitchen. This simple technique can be used for many one-dimensional and two-dimensional nanomaterials including nanotubes, nanowires, graphene, and nanosheets.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology and energy - a path to a sustainable future

green_energyAgainst the double-whammy backdrop of an energy challenge and a climate challenge it is the role of innovative energy technologies to provide socially acceptable solutions through energy savings; efficiency gains; and decarbonization. Nanotechnology It may not be the silver bullet, but nanomaterials and nanoscale applications will have an important role to play. This article provides an overview of the issues and nanomaterials and applications that are being researched in the field of energy.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2015