Since it was the potential environmental benefits of nanotechnology that first drew me (and many others) to an interest in the field, it’s good to see some official notice of that aspect. From Cordis via Nanowerk News:
Much has been said about the potential of nanotechnologies to revolutionise the way we live, with the biggest changes forecasted to take place in materials, surveillance and healthcare. The accompanying discussions on the possible side effects of working at the nanoscale may suggest to the casual observer that the environment will be a loser in the nano-revolution. Not so, according to scientists investigating environmental nanotechnology…
But scientists working in the comparatively unknown field of environmental nanotechnology argue that working at the nanoscale does not have to be to the detriment of the environment. Studies have shown that nanotechnologies can be used to not only monitor and prevent pollution, but to clean up pollutants once they have already made their way into the environment.
Not to mention that nanoscale, atomically-precise manufacturing should be able to eliminate chemical pollution entirely, by giving us control of our processes at the molecular level. Then there’s much less excuse for throwing leftover molecules in the air and water. —Christine