After attending KTN’s event in London last week, it is clear that there is much potential in the use of nanotechnology in environmental resource efficiency.
With the topic of HiPerNano 2018 being Clean Growth, the researchers and industrialist speakers were keen to share their findings on how nanotechnology can help to overcome environmental challenges, including nanotechnology in clean mobility and the development of environmentally friendly nanomaterials.
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Global Nano Network
First of all we heard from Alvin Orbaek White, Swansea University, who has been able to take plastic food packaging, and make electricity conducting carbon nanotubes from them. The idea of upcycling waste in this way not only offers a potential solution to the problem of environmental plastic disposal, but by turning it into something useful that we can use for energy, we are also presented with a potential energy efficient resource.
The idea of resource efficiency is continued in Krzysztof Koziol’s talk. Here, Krzystof presented the idea surrounding
Cambridge Nanosystems’ vision of preventing carbon going into the atmosphere, by capturing methane and converting it into graphene – turning it into something useful rather than it converting into Carbon Dioxide and harming the environment. He states that according to his research, 150 billion cubic metres of natural gas, could be converted to 25,000,000 tonnes of graphene!
The afternoon sessions moved onto clean mobility, with Claus Kaquordt (
RD Graphene) discussing the current issues associated with electric vehicles (EV), including battery life anxiety experienced by users.
Claus then explored the option of replacing batteries with supercapacitors, which also provide a higher power density compared to current automotive EV batteries.
Zlatka Stoeva’s talk,
DZP Ltd, also explored the use of supercapacitors, but this time for energy storage applications and how nanomaterials can help lithium-ion batteries become more efficient and last longer.
Alongside the speakers, the event also featured a number of exhibitors, including
Promethean Particles, SGMA, Merrow Scientific and Gearing Scientific, all keen to show how their equipment can aid research in the field of nanotechnology. We caught up with in our Tradeshow Talks series, which can be viewed in the links above.
Although there are a number of environment challenges that lie ahead, HiPerNano 2018 has showed us that there are also a number of opportunities to overcome these using clean growth and it’s both comforting and promising to see the nanotech industry driving towards clean energy.
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