The ability to eliminate waste and toxins from production processes early on, to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and to remove contaminants from water is becoming an exciting reality with nanotechnology. This “green nanotechnology” involves designing nanoproducts for the environment and with the environment in mind. Green nano is not just a niche among a few scientists or environmentalists, but is commercially viable among businesses; the investment community has recognized these green nano advances as big business and rewarded corporate innovators. A recent article, Green is Gold, advises investors: “Nowhere is the vision of technology in the service of sustainability more promising than in the field of nanotechnology,” (Forex Market, 3/15/07).
Last spring, several scientists, policymakers, lawyers, and industry representatives came together to participate in a series of dialogues on green nanotechnology held at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The American Chemical Society also held a symposium on Nanotechnology and the Environment at its annual meeting. On April 26, 2007, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies will release its first report on green nanotechnology, which highlights the research breakthroughs, industry perspectives, and policy options discussed at those meetings. The report was written by journalist and science writer, Karen Schmidt.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on PewHealth.org.