NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATION FIELDS
GAME-CHANGING BENEFITS originate from the use of nanotechnology-enabled materials, processes and systems. The kind and magnitude of benefits largely depend upon every single application of nanotechnology to specific circumstances and sectors. In fact, nanotechnology application fields encompass a multitude of applications.
Nanotechnology is set to disrupt the old way of dealing with materials thanks to enhanced specific properties which introduce new applications by dramatically increasing performance with cost effective and easy-to-install products.
Nanotechnology improves the efficiency of HVAC-R systems by extending the life of machinery, optimising the exchanges in fluids based on water, water and glycols or oils.
Examples of revolutionary treatments include methods based on harnessing energy using nanoparticles to get rid or reduce the quantity of coolants that are common throughout heating and cooling industries and represent the biggest source of the ozone layer depletion. Because of the technology behind our nanoparticles, the systems carbon footprint are drastically reduced as new efficiencies arise.
New methods and systems for heating or cooling become available but consumers can still optimise obsolete machinery simply by adding nano-engineered fluids that will increase the overall performance.
Manufacturers of several consumer products have already begun to develop and harness the immense benefits of nanotechnology to develop consumer products for improved efficiency, better performance, and reducing negative impact on the environment.
Nano-engineered powders and fluids help develop as well as improve existing processes that are being used to trap, store, and transfer energy and heat for residential and industrial applications.
Nanotechnology and energy have an important co-relation and scientists and engineers have been working tirelessly to develop newer and exciting technologies that have the ability to significantly improve quality of life globally.
Nanotechnology is finding application in traditional energy sources and is greatly enhancing alternative energy approaches to help meet the world’s increasing energy demands.
New processes and systems look into ways to develop clean, affordable, and renewable energy sources, along with means to reduce energy consumption and lessen toxicity burdens on the environment.
Nanotechnology can be incorporated into solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity more efficiently, promising inexpensive solar power in the future.
Nanotechnology is improving the efficiency of fuel production from raw petroleum materials through better catalysis. It is also enabling reduced fuel consumption in vehicles and power plants through higher-efficiency combustion and decreased friction.
Nanotechnology is already being used to develop many new kinds of batteries that are quicker-charging, more efficient, lighter weight, have a higher power density and hold electrical charge longer.
In the area of energy harvesting, researchers are developing thin-film solar electric panels that can be fitted onto computer cases and flexible piezoelectric nanowires woven into clothing to generate usable energy on the go from light, friction, and/or body heat to power mobile electronic devices.
Similarly, various nanoscience-based options are being pursued to convert waste heat in computers, automobiles, homes, power plants, etc., to usable electrical power.
Nanotechnology is also enabling more efficient lighting systems; lighter and stronger vehicle chassis materials for the transportation sector; lower energy consumption in advanced electronics; and light-responsive smart coatings.
Thanks to nanotechnology is possible to develop multifunctional materials that will contribute to building and maintaining lighter, safer, smarter, and more efficient vehicles and buildings.
Nanoparticles (i.e.Titanium nanoparticles) are being developed to be used in paintings with the capacity to absorb pollutants in the air through chemical reactions stimulated by the sun rays.
Nano-engineering of Aluminum improves the performance, resiliency, and longevity of highway and transportation infrastructure components while reducing their life cycle cost. Nano Aluminium is also used as a surface treatment to increase the hydrophilicity of the pigments or as a coating for solar filters to reduce the photocatalytic reactions induced from light and to reduce the electrostatic interactions that cause the aggregation of microparticles.
Nano-engineered materials boost thermoelectric reactions of materials for temperature control. So, they contribute to lower resistance, increase the efficiency and decrease costs.
New systems may incorporate innovative capabilities into traditional infrastructure materials, such as self-repairing structures or materials able to generate or transmit energy more efficiently, such as thin-film smart solar panels.
Most of commonly applied fertilizers is lost to the environment causing pollution. Nanofertilizers help in slow and sustain the release of agrochemicals resulting in precise dosage to the plants.
Nano-engineered particles of calcium can help plants and vegetables to grow without skin damages.
Positive eﬀect stemming from the application of nanotechnology in agriculture include improved root and stem growth, increased shoot and root length, biomass, catalase activity in shoots and ascorbate peroxidise activity in roots.
Titanium nanoparticles can increase the shoot and seedling lengths, enhanced plant growth and diosgenin synthesis. Also, it has been observed improvements in shoot-root growth, chlorophyll production and leaf protein content.
The most widely used nanostructures in cosmetics are the nanopigments. Nano-engineered cosmetics are most commonly represented by solar lotions as they show higher protection factors and contain UVA and UVB filters in the form of nanopigments. The use of these elements brings significant benefits in terms of specific functionality as you can create products that are absorbed by the skin in a uniform manner and protect it from exposure to sunlight. The most common nanoparticles used for solar nanopigments are Titanium Nanoparticles and Zinc Nanoparticles, which have the ability to reflect and scatter ultraviolet light protecting the skin from harmful effects of radiations.
Titanium Dioxide is a natural mineral mainly used as a white pigment. Titanium nanopowder has a high refractive index and is able to absorb, reflect and scatter sunlight. For this reason, the nanopowder is one of the physical filters mostly used to obtain sunscreen products. It is able to offer protection against both UVA (although it is less effective between 350 and 400 nm) and UVB.
When used as a sunscreen, the normal titanium dioxide has the disadvantage of leaving an unsightly white layer on the skin. The reduction of the diameter of the mineral particles up to the size of nanoparticles (<100 nm) eliminates this problem in part as particles are retained while the absorbent properties disperse the light. Decreasing the size of particles also increases the reflective capability against UVB radiation (thanks to the increase of the specific surface area). Titanium nanoparticles are insoluble in water and are considered a safe, non-irritating and more suitable ingredient for sensitive skins than chemical filters.
Zinc Oxide nanoparticles can be placed on top of the skin, scattering and absorbing UVA & UVB rays but they also show important antibacterial and deodorant properties. Thanks to their ability to neutralise acids and to absorb ultraviolet light they can be employed in the production of sunscreens and other lotions. In fact, in the field of surface coatings, it is present in the chemical composition of paints since it allows to prevent corrosion while maintaining the properties of flexibility and those of adhesive coatings for years. Zinc oxide nano is having a lot of success in the production of lubricants and rubber industries, too.
Aluminum oxide nanoparticles are generally found in cosmetic formulations, specifically sun lotions that provide higher protection from ultraviolet rays.
MEDICINE: Researchers are developing customised nanoparticles the size of molecules that can deliver drugs directly and more efficiently to diseased cells in the body.
ELECTRONICS AND BATTERIES: Nanotechnology can increase the capabilities of electronics devices while reducing their weight and power consumption. Companies are currently developing batteries using nanomaterials, too. One such battery will be a good as new after sitting on the shelf for decades and can be recharged significantly faster than conventional batteries
CHEMICALS: Nanotechnology is being used to reduce the cost of catalysts and to improve the efficiency of liquids.
AIR QUALITY: Nanotechnology can improve the performance of catalysts used to transform vapours escaping from cars or industrial plants into harmless gasses. That’s because catalysts made from nanoparticles have a greater surface area to interact with the reacting chemicals than catalysts made from larger particles. The larger surface area allows more chemicals to interact with the catalyst simultaneously, which makes the catalyst more effective.
FABRICS: Making composite fabric with nano-sized particles allows improvement of the materials properties without a significant increase in weight, thickness, or stiffness as might have been the case with previously-used techniques.
LUBRICANTS: Nanotechnology-enabled lubricants and engine oils also significantly reduce wear and tear, which can significantly extend the lifetimes of moving parts in everything from power tools to industrial machinery and vehicles.
FOOD: Nanotechnology is having an impact on several aspects of food science, from how food is grown to how it is packaged.