Nanotechnology and nanomaterial are expected to be very vital in environmental protection. Not only will they save raw materials, but they will also provide clean energy and reduce hazardous waste. Using manufactured nanomaterial promises potential environmental sustainability significance. However, limited industries use this technology mostly for a subordinate role and innovative applications. Some of the potential ecological benefits of these technologies are:
Batteries are used in many IoT devices, from watches, remotes, and mobile phones. These batteries, however, pose a significant threat to not only the environment but also human health. Their primary raw materials in manufacture are heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. Moreover, landfills of batteries also lead to loss of valuable raw materials. Researchers have identified a way to recover pure zinc oxide from disposed of batteries. The process uses manufactured nanomaterial to extract these particles. Although the process has been successful with zinc oxide, similar procedures can be used to recycle other batteries, including nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion.
Radioactive Waste and Oil Spills Clean-Up in Water
Experts are working on a solution for radioactive wastes in water using titanate nanofibers. According to the research, the nanofibers’ structure makes it possible for them to bond with radioactive components in water and remove them. The elements include Cesium and iodine ions. Oils spills can also be economically extracted from water using the same method. Traditional methods for spillage control are not suitable for massive oil spills. The process is still in a new stage, but it provides great promise for years to come. Many countries have put researchers to work on suitable ways to solve spillages, and nanotechnology might be a breakthrough.
Hydrogen Production for Green Power
Hydrogen is a clean source of energy that many companies use. However, the origins of hydrogen are potent pollutants. Hydrogen cannot be mined or trapped; it has to be industrially produced using several raw materials. Hydrogen production’s most efficient method, yet environmentally unfriendly, is the gasification of coal. A cleaner way will be electrolysis, which entails using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Nanotechnology can be used to clean the materials in cases where coal is used. Moreover, on a nanoscale, inorganic light-harvesting nanocrystal can be reacted with cheap electrocatalyst with several elements to provide stable hydrogen.
Water might be the best beneficially from nanotechnology. It benefits in three major categories: pollution prevention, treatment and remediation, and sensing and detection. Remediation is the process of removing harmful materials that threaten human health and the environment at large. Manufactured nanomaterial provides a more natural and cheaper gateway to treating these areas. The procedures used are safe, including the byproducts. Desalination processes are used to remove excess sodium chloride contents in areas close to the ocean. Nanotechnology can also be used to disinfect water. The technique can create Chlorine-free biocides to kill pathogens for safe water to drink.
Researching on nanotechnology has shown a significant impact on the environment. It provides an economical way to perform specific procedures and lessen, if any, pollution after the processes.