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Posted: Nov 19, 2013
Nanotechnology applications - From mining waste to high value materials
(Nanowerk News) Dr. Carlo Montemagno and a world-class team of researchers are working across disciplines to identify innovative solutions to some of the province’s most difficult issues, including optimal resource extraction while enhancing environmental stewardship of Alberta’s signature natural resources.
“Nanotechnology will have a significant impact on Canada’s economic prosperity and global competitive advantage,” says Ingenuity Lab Director, Dr. Carlo Montemagno. “This enhanced understanding of matter will provide the necessary underpinning for revolutionary discoveries across disciplines that will forever change the way we envisage the future.”
Ingenuity Lab is applying recent advances in targeted drug delivery and other areas to develop novel technologies that will enable the recovery of valuable materials, currently discarded as waste, from our industrial operations and the environment.
The Ingenuity research team is engineering new materials that have the capability to detect, extract and bind to rare earth and precious metals that exist in nature or synthetic materials. As this approach is refined, it will spawn a variety of applications like reclamation of trace amounts of valuable or harmful materials from soil, water and industrial process streams, including tailing ponds.
“Our molecular recognition techniques, what we call biomining, offer the ability to maximize the utility of our resources, establish a new path forward to restore damaged lands and water and to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to societal and economic prosperity,” says Dr. Montemagno. “The further we delve into the very makeup of the natural and inorganic components of our universe, the more opportunities we uncover. This radical shift away from conventional thinking means that we leverage research gains beyond their intended purpose. We achieve a multiplier effect that increases the capacity of nanotechnology to address the grand challenges facing modern industrial societies.”