Nanomaterials for Commercial Energy Applications

nanomaterialMore and more people are looking toward nanomaterials to help solve issues in the energy infrastructure. Not only could this technology lead to more efficient and cost effective renewable energy sources, but could also help the development of devices that remove pollutants from the air and water. In fact, nanotechnology has such a vast scope that there is potential for it to impact almost all areas of society.

“There is not a field that is not touched,” said nanomaterials expert Francis D’Souza of the University of North Texas. “It is a group of very eminent scientists exploring the possibilities in every single field. You can expect big discoveries and breakthroughs.”

While nanomaterials are infiltrating everything from electronics to biomedical applications, many scientists have shift their primary focus to energy harvesting.

“There are so many new capabilities that can be exploited with nanotechnology, from dramatic improvements to solar conversion efficiency to battery systems with higher storage capacity and faster charging and discharging cycles to miniaturized power management systems, so we can have energy storage that can last for a long time,” said IBM’s Lili Deligianni.

While many researchers are able to develop very promising technology on the small scale, the difficulty comes when attempting to transition nanomaterials to a scalable production. Currently, the methods for scaling these nanomaterials up to a commercial size while controlling each materials’ properties.

This from the University of Bath:

[Students have] published a paper that demonstrates the rapid and scalable production of Zinc Oxide nanomaterials using a technique called electrochemical anodization. The technique can be controlled to give rise to a wide range of interesting structures, with different sizes and shapes, which can be tailored towards specific applications.

Read the full article here.

[Image: University of Bath]


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