Inspired 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.
Self-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.
This 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.
Engineered 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.
While '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.
Against 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.
Putting some of the rising amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to good use again, researchers are looking for ways to convert atmospheric CO2 emissions into industrially relevant, valuable chemicals and fuels; ideally powered by clean, renewable energy sources to make the whole process carbon-negative or at least carbon-neutral, i.e. by using at least - if not more - CO2 than is created in the process. New work demonstrates that current, state-of-the-art renewable energy sources can efficiently power large-scale CO2 conversion systems.
Meeting the need for a reliable, sensitive, and accurate methodology for the detection of nanoparticles in complex samples, using low-cost and portable instrumentation, scientists have developed a novel methodology to quickly screen for the presence and reactivity of nanoparticles in commercial, environmental, and biological samples. A colorimetric assay - similar to a swimming pool test kit - tests for the presence or absence of nanoparticles in biological and environmental relevant samples with sufficient sensitivity at part per billion concentration levels.