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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 113 in category Green Nanotechnology (newest first):

 

How to eliminate a graphene oxide 'oil spill' accident

graphene-kaolin_complexCarbon nanomaterials, including graphene-based materials, are widely gaining popularity in practical applications of nanomanufacturing. As a result, it becomes more and more likely that the unwanted introduction of such materials into the environment may occur. In particular, aqueous habitats might be severely affected by any accidental carbon nanomaterials exposure. Researching these potential environmental toxicity effects, scientists have found that kaolin, a cheap and abundant clay, can act as a powerful antidote to remediate the toxic effects of graphene oxide.

Posted: Apr 25th, 2018

Carbon nanotube wools for greenhouse gas mitigation and bullet-proof clothing

carbon_nanotube_woolTurning atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products seems like a great idea to help remove this greenhouse gas to mitigate climate change. Using a process of molten carbonate electrolytic transformation of CO2 to carbon nanotubes, researchers have now demonstrated 'carbon nanotube wool'. These are the first carbon nanotubes that can be directly woven into a cloth as they are of macroscopic length (over 1mm) and are cheap to produce. The sole reactant to produce the carbon nanotube wools is carbon dioxide. This transforms CO2 from a pollutant into a useful, valuable resource.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2017

Capturing carbon dioxide and storing methane with metal-organic frameworks

metal-organic-framworkMetal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are well-ordered, lattice-like crystals. The nodes of the lattices are metals, which are connected by organic molecules. The most impressive features of MOFs are their extremely high surface area, high porosity, and tunable pore sizes, which are remarkable advantages over other porous materials (e.g., zeolites and carbons). With their special structure and large surface area, MOFs open up new opportunities for alternative systems for gas and energy storage (e.g. carbon dioxide and hydrogen storage), in catalysis, chemical sensing, as nanoreactors, and in drug delivery, making them hugely interesting for both university research and industry.

Posted: Jun 15th, 2017

Transforming greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon nanotubes

carbon_nanotubesIn two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis with inexpensive (nickel and steel) electrodes and low voltage. This synthesis consumes only CO2 and electricity, and is constrained only by the cost of electricity.

Posted: Mar 21st, 2017

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