Researchers are busy trying to harness nanotechnology for clean water. But when can we expect results? What are the risks? And how can nano-based solutions be delivered to the millions lacking access to safe water in developing countries?
Displaying 1-3 of 3 key documents
Source: Meridian Institute | 2006
This report, written for the Meridian Institute by a team of scientists from South Africa and Sri Lanka, describes the general issues facing projects aimed at improving access to clean water in the developing world, as well as the specific challenges facing nano-based projects.
The authors describe a number of water treatment devices that incorporate nanotechnology, including nanofiltration membranes, attapulgite clays and zeolites, nanocatalysts, magnetic nanoparticles and nanosensors. More importantly, they outline potential opportunities associated with these technologies, and possible risks.
The paper includes two case studies of projects designed to improve access to clean water — one in Bangladesh based on a conventional approach using sari cloth to remove cholera from water, and one in South Africa that incorporates a nanofiltration membrane.
This feature article from Nanowerk, written in collaboration with scientists, provides a short introduction to the role nanotechnology could play in resolving water shortage and quality issues.
The authors describe how nanotechnologies are being used in water filtration, especially nanotechnology membranes incorporating carbon nanotubes and dendrimers. They also examine how nanotechnologies and materials such as zeolites, carbon nanotubes and biopolymers can be used to remove, reduce or neutralise heavy metals and other contaminants that pose a threat to human health. And they briefly discuss the issue of using nanotechnology to develop water disinfectants.
Source: CMP Cientifica | July 2002
This detailed overview by CMP Cientifica, one of Europe's largest information providers on nanotechnology, aims to introduce the wide variety of technologies falling under the nanotech umbrella and lay them out in a way that shows the scope and timing of their impacts. Intended for governments, venture capitalists, large corporations and scientists working in relevant disciplines, the paper looks at the field as a whole, current financing, and possible future directions.
The authors point out nanotechnology's tremendous diversity and applicability, emphasising that it is not just about miniaturisation, but also about rendering materials atomically exact. They show how developments are already being seen in drug delivery, solar energy, catalysts, coatings, bioanalysis tools and much more. As a result, the discipline already attracts funding approaching some US$4 billion a year from public and private sources.
Casting an eye over the technology's future, the authors see molecular nanotechnology — the manufacture of robotic machines on a molecular scale — as potentially hugely important. The possible problems thrown up by the self-replication of these machines are also briefly examined. The paper ends with a detailed summary of applications and an appendix listing milestones in the field.