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The report “Nanotechnology Applications in Environment” is related to environmental implications of nanotechnology. There have been advanced technological developments in this field and nanotechnology is considered as the key technology of the century. It has been proved as the technology of new age as it helps in developing innovative methods to produce new products which substitutes traditional production equipments. It results in saving of energy and less consumption of material that harm the environment. It can provide resource efficient products. Nanotechnology is a sustainable resource to remediate problems associated with the environment.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.



Nanotechnology is considered to have potential impacts over five major fields of applications: environmental and energy, materials and manufacturing, medical and health, electronics and computers, and space, transportation and aircrafts. In this report, emphasis is made on environmental implications of nanotechnology. This article gives information about nanotechnology and its importance in sustaining the environment. It represents a brief review on the current research and developments taking place on environmental remediation by the nanotechnology. The various environmental problems are explored and the useful applications of nanotechnology as cleansing agent of environment are described. There is a brief discussion of different types of nanotechnological materials which are useful in environment treatments and remediation. These materials are based on titanium dioxide, iron, bimetallics, clay, carbon nanotube, magnetic nanoparticles and catalystic particles. The nanotechnology has benefits and risks as well which are briefed in this report. The report ends with the conclusion consisting of some measures to be taken for the improvement of the technology.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.



Nanotechnology is an advanced level of technology.  In the modern age, nanotechnology and environment have significant interrelationship. Nanotechnology has wide applications in improving the environment. Nanotechnology has been an emerging field and the exploring technological implications in sustaining and improving the environment is giving it an appreciable recognition.

Nanotechnology can be applied in developing to solve the present environmental problems, making proactive systems for the future problems. In general term, nanotechnology is an applied science that design, develop and apply materials and devices on the nano-scale level. The size of materials, devices and structures used in this technology are ranged from 1-500 nanometers. The nano-particles are categorized into three categories:NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

(i)              Naturally-occurring nano-particle: These are present ell around in the environment. For example, volcanic ash, magneto tactic bacteria, ocean spray and mineral composites.

(ii)            Incidental nano-particle: These are the by-products of industrial goods.

(iii)          Engineered nano-particle: These are specially designed for specific functions. For example, C60.

In simple words, nanoscale science, technology, engineering and their applications are collectively known as nanotechnology. It is the unique ability to work at molecular level, working on atom by atom to result into the creation of large structures with fundamentally new molecular organization. It involves various other disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay. These disciplines combined with nanotechnology proved to be a significant transformation for the whole host of products and processes which can improve and enhance sustainability and quality of the environment through pollution detection, prevention, treatment and remediation. Most of the nanotechnological environmental applications lie in three categories: (a) environmentally benign and sustainable products, such as green chemistry and pollution prevention, (b) remediation of materials contaminated with hazardous substances, (c) sensors for environmental agents. In particular, nanotechnology plays a vital role in present improvements and efforts to develop better methods in order to detect and decontaminate harmful biological agents which are currently the environmental issues.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.


In nanotechnology, the processes and technologies are engineered through manipulating atoms to produce materials. Science and technology utilize the basic characteristics of atoms to produce such structures in order to create tiny, less bulky and stronger products and applications.


 Nanotechnology involves two approaches: Top-down approach and Bottom-up approach. The industrial technologies follow top-down approach in which the raw material is casted into finished products by removing unwanted content. In this approach, the matter is processed in chunks and is far larger than molecular scale. On the other hand, bottom- up approaches operates on the techniques of organizing and structuring atoms and molecules into particular configurations to form complex products.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

There is a great extent to which the industrial and commercial use of nanomaterials can have an impact on ecosystems and organisms.

Nanotechnology Characteristics

The several characteristics of nanotechnology are mentioned below:

  1. Reactivity: The large surface area, greater density of reactive sites on the particle surfaces and higher intrinsic reactivity of the reactive surface locations result out greater reactivity for nanoparticles and materials. These features are responsible for the distinct characteristics of ZVI, such as degradation of contaminants that are un-reactive with larger particles of the same material, for example, polychlorinated biphenyls, rapid degradation of contaminants that react at effective rates with larger particles, for example chlorinated ethylene, and more favorable products from contaminants that are quickly degradable by larger materials but yield undesirable by-product, for example carbon tetrachloride.
  2. Morphology: Nanosize is a size regime between the molecules and materials in which the particles have unique properties and these are much different than those of larger particles. This type of property arises when the particles are smaller than 10 nm. In addition to this, one more property that changes significantly when size goes below 10 nm is specific surface area. Similar trends can be applied to related properties such as ratio of surface/bulk atoms and particle volume fraction which is comprised by a finite thick surface layer.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Mobility: There is an assumption that nanoparticles are highly mobile in the porous media, due to their much smaller size than the pore spaces of the media, but it is an oversimplification. The mobility of the nanoparticles in saturated porous media can be determined by multiplying number of nanoparticle collisions with porous media per unit transport distance by the probability of the collision which results in removal of nanoparticle from the flow system. This type of collision can occur due to processes, such as Brownian diffusion, interference and gravitational sedimentation.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Different Types of Nanomaterials and their Environmental Implications

Nanoscale materials have their significant importance in improving environment by their direct use to detect, prevent and eradicate pollutants, and also indirectly by applying nanotechnology for designing cleaner and efficient industrial processes and creating products which are responsible for environment. The highly desirable qualities are created at nanoscale level due to size confinement, dominance of interfacial phenomena, and quantum effects. These exclusive properties of nanostructured particles and materials tend to improve catalysis, photo activity, increasing strength and other important characteristics. There are certain nanomaterials which are very beneficial in improving and sustaining the environment. These are explained as follows:NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

1. Titanium Dioxide based Nanoparticles: TiOis an important nanomaterial which has the special characteristics of semi-conductivity, energy convertibility, photocatalytic, electronic and gas sensing ability. TiOnanoparticles are used as photocatalyst for water treatment. It helps in removing organic contaminants from different types of media. These particles are inexpensive and are less toxic. TiOsemiconductor can be excited by the light energy which should have energy greater than its band gap. This releases electron hole pair which can get exploited in various reduction processes at the semiconductor interface.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

2. Iron Based Nanomaterials: These particles can provide high flexibility for remediations. Iron based nanoparticles can be deployed in slurry reactors for treating contaminated soils, solid wastes and sediments. In addition to this, they are also anchored on solid matrix such as carbon, zeolite and membrane for the treatment of water, wastes from water and gaseous process streams. These are also used to immobilize heavy metals and radionuclides. The zero-valent iron particles eradicate aqueous contaminants by reductive de-chlorination and reducing to an insoluble form.

3. Nanoparticticulate photocatalysts and catalysts: Catalyst is the substance which is meant to accelerate the reaction rate, but is not consumed during the reaction. ZnWOis a nanoparticle which acts as photocatalyst for the degradation of rhodamine B which is present in water and also in the decomposition of formaldehyde in the gaseous form. Other nanoparticle ZnO is also used as photocatalyst for decomposing methyl orange. Some nanoparticles are prepared from sol-gel chemistry and are combined with aerogels in order to increase catalyst properties like textural and thermal qualities. Metalloporphyrinogens are nanometer sized molecules and these are used to catalyze the ecomposition of chloro-organic compounds (COC) by reduction reactions.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

4. Nanotubes: Carbon naotubes (CNTs) has the absorption capability and efficiency of high adsorption for removing heavy metals of lead, zinc etc. These are used for the removal of organic pollutants, such as 1, 2-dichlorobenzene, trihalomethanes, n-nonane and CClwith different various modification and purification from water.

5. Dedrimer and Nanosponges: One important environmental treatment and remediation-related application of nanomaterial is dendritic nanoscale chelating agents for polymer supported ultrafilteration. Dendrites are the polymers which are highly branched with controlled composition and an architecture which possesses nanoscale features. These types of nanostructures are designed in order to encapsulate metal ions and zero-valent metals which enable them to dissolve in a suitable media. These are effective in removing copper from water through different kinds of PAMAM dendimers. The PAMAM dendimers are also useful in soil treatment by removing copper (II) and lead from sandy soil.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

6. Micelles: These particles are self-assembled surfactants in a bulk solution. Surface active agents consist of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups. Because of this property these can be dissolved in organic solvents and water. There is a critical micelle concentration of CMC at which surfactants get self-assembled and form micelles. Surfactant enhanced remediation techniques have the potential application in removing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollutants from the soil.

7. Self Assemblies: Self assembly is a reversible process which incorporates pre existing parts and disordered components of pre existing system which form structures of patterns. It is an spontaneous organization of small molecules into larger ordered and stable molecular complexes, and spontaneous adsorption of molecules on a substrate in systematic manner.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Environmental Applications for Nanotechnology

Environmental remediation, sensors, treatment and green nanotech manufacturing and engineering are among the greatest potential environmental applications for nanotechnology. The environmental applications of nanotechnology can be categorized under two categories: reactive applications to existing current environmental problems, and proactive applications in preventing future problems.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Environmental Reactive Applications: Reactive applications are related to sensors, treatment and remediation. There has been extreme research works on the use and applications of nanoparticles as sensors for permitting accurate and real time simultaneous sensing of a number of various compounds. Environmental Protection Agency is an organization that works on developing applications and improvement of nanotechnology. Nanoscale sensors have also been investigated for detecting biological compounds, for example algal toxins in the marine environment and drinking water consisting of mycobacteria. Fluorescent dendrimers are also developed showing spatially resolved microdomains on polymer beads which detect different algal toxins. Different toxins get bind out which results into specific fluorescence wavelengths and it depends on dendrimer’s spatial resolution on polymer beads which are correlated to known familiar toxins. This technology is less expensive and less time consuming. The advanced application of nano detection not can only detect microbial pathogens in drinking water, but it can also be used in quantization of these organisms. With the help of nanotechnological research, two more reactive applications are possible: treatment and remediation.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay. The nano molecules that are used in treatment and remediation processes possess the quality of accessing areas that large molecules cannot access. These molecules can also be coated to prevent reactivity with surrounding soil particles. The transport and clean up efficiencies of these particles are also been studied by researchers. For instance, the iron oxide particles encapsulated in a protein shell are used for reducing heavy metals, such as hexavalent chromium which is a groundwater contaminant. The researchers working on developments of nanotechnology believe that nanotechnology can make great and more important advances in cleaning up the environment.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Environmental Proactive Applications: Green manufacture and green energy productions are among the main applications of environmental proactive applications. Nanotechnology is used in producing green energy in order to create potential sources of commercially alternative clean energy sources, such as solar cells and fuel cells. There are two aspects of green manufacturing that are the application of nanotechnology in designing process for eliminating polluting waste products at the sources, and the efficient and effective production of nanomaterials. Green manufacturing helps in improving specificity of catalysts, production of more desired compounds and lesser waste and pollution. The stability of nanoparticles without harmful additives that pollute water and soil is being explored. These processes are less time consuming, less consumption of energy during manufacturing processes, and therefore have the potential of reducing cost of making nanoparticles.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Nanotechnology is playing a significant role in facilitating and providing solutions in the area of green energy applications. The use of electro-chemistry, micro fluidic biofuel cells, nanoscale photosynthesis and photo electric chemical cells are some of the future focus of the researchers to address to provide safe, inexpensive, efficient and renewable energy resources. Example of such application is the solid state lighting that can be enhanced by using nanocrystals and polymer composites for light emitting diodes (LED). Using such technology, LED provides brighter, more efficient and less expensive lighting for using in equipments like traffic signal. LEDs have the potential of reducing consumption of light energy by 50 percent. This would also help in reducing carbon emissions and therefore would have good impact on climate change also.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

However, there are certain challenges for researchers with respect to fuel in the area of transportation: production of fuel, how to facilitate transportation of fuel to the needed locations, and fuel safety during storage. With the help of nanotechnology, these problems can be addressed. The nanomaterials can be used for creating harder alloys and ceramics for cutting tools to enhance the manufacturing efficiency. The motors used in various equipments can be made more efficient by incorporating low-loss, high-performance magnets. When light weight materials having low failure rates and surface tailoring of parts are used to produce less friction and it would also increase resistance to wear, and improve the safety of ground and air transportation.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Environmental Benefits of Nanotechnology

The nanoparticles possess the potential of delivering environmental benefits at large extents in production processes and in products as well. The conventional materials that require more raw materials, more energy consumption, and are harmful for environment can be substituted by nanomaterials. The advanced developments in nanotechnologies are expected to enhance environmental protection and improve pollution detection and remediation. Following are the environmental benefits of nanotechnology:NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.


  • Improved monitoring: Nanotechnoogy can help in monitoring the environment more effectively through less expensive and more sensitive detection devices. For example, by using nanoparticles of europium oxide a highly sensitive method is developed for measuring pesticide atrazine which is a frequent groundwater contaminant. Many other nanotechnology based monitoring devices are operated to measure pollutants and toxic agents.
  • Remediating pollution: Nanotechnology based materials can help in reducing and preventing pollution and toxic emissions at source. For example, nanostructured catalysts based on metal oxides or metal nanoparticles reduces industrial and vehicle emissions.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.
  • Saving energy and resources: The nanocatalysts have a huge advantage over traditional catalysts. These can be used at room temperature and therefore saves high energy inputs. Some nanotechnological products can transform energy production, storage and consumption by providing highly efficient alternatives to current practices and processes.

Nanotechnology for Environmental clean-up

One of the most significant applications of emerging nanotechnology with considerable benefits is its environmental implication and remediation of contaminated groundwater by using nanoparticles consist of zero-valent iron (nZVI). Regarding remediation of environmental contaminants, there are two major distinctions that define types of remediation technologies and are applied to nanotechnology for remediation. These are adsorptive versus reactive and in situ versus ex situ. The adsorptive remediation technology removes contaminants by sequestration, especially metals. On other hand, reactive technology has the effects on degradation of contaminants to harmful products, such as COand H2O in case of organic contaminants. The in situ technology involves the treatment of contaminants, whereas ex situ is related to the treatment after removing contaminated material to a convenient site.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

In ex situ nanotechnology, an important example for contaminant remediation by adsorption is referred to as self assembled mono-players on mesoporous supports (SAMMS). These are created by self-assembly of a monoplayer of functionalized surfactants onto mesoporous ceramic supports which results out in very high surface areas with the adsorptive properties that can be applied to target contaminants, such as mercury, chromate, arsenate, pertechnetate, and selenite. Nanotechnology affecting remediation by contaminant degradation instead of adsorption, are effective for organic contaminants. On other hand, in situ degradation of contaminants is preferred over other technologies as it is proved to be more cost effective over others. However, there is one disadvantage that in situ remediation needs delivery of the treatment to the contamination and it is an obstacle for developing in situ remediation technology. Regarding these technological approaches, nanotechnology has its special prominence as it has the ability to inject nanosized particles into the contaminated porous media, such as soil, aquifers and sediments.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.

Environmental risks of Nanotechnology

The nanotechnology may present potential risks and it requires proper assessment. The size of nanoparticles is this much small that they can even pass through skin or blood brain barriers. A large proportion of their atoms collect at the surface which are highly reactive. It is difficult to predict the environmental impact of their widespread use due to their complex physical, chemical and biological interactions that take place in real life conditions. The main issues related to nanotechnology and its materials which can incur risks are as follows:NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.


  • Fate and transport of nanoparticles in the environment:
  • Toxicology and health risks:


Nanotechnology is a discipline comprising research and development activities, which has been having an explosive growth in providing solutions to worldwide problems. In addition to developments in various aspects of nanotechnology, the considerations are also needed to be made in broader environmental impacts. Such considerations help in determining potential benefits of prevention and removal of pollutants from industrial sources. It is becoming a facet of daily life at a fast pace. The governments and international organization need to work together with scientists and researchers to establish and promote best practices of nanotechnology. It can be proved as the creation of many new possibilities for social and economic development in short term and long term as well. Nanotechnology requires a balanced approach in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENT Essay.