Navigation Links
Nanomaterials poised for big impact in construction
Date:7/28/2010

HOUSTON -- (July 28, 2010) -- Nanomaterials are poised for widespread use in the construction industry, where they can offer significant advantages for a variety of applications ranging from making more durable concrete to self-cleaning windows. But widespread use in building materials comes with potential environmental and health risks when those materials are thrown away. Those are the conclusions of a new study published by Rice University engineering researchers this month in ACS Nano.

"The advantages of using nanomaterials in construction are enormous," said study co-author Pedro Alvarez, Rice's George R. Brown Professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "When you consider that 41 percent of all energy use in the U.S. is consumed by commercial and residential buildings, the potential benefits of energy-saving materials alone are vast.

"But there are reasonable concerns about unintended consequences as well," Alvarez said. "The time for responsible lifecycle engineering of man-made nanomaterials in the construction industry is now, before they are introduced in environmentally relevant concentrations."

Alvarez and co-authors Jaesang Lee, a postdoctoral researcher at Rice, and Shaily Mahendra, now an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, note that nanomaterials will likely have a greater impact on the construction industry than any other sector of the economy, after biomedical and electronics applications. They cite dozens of potential applications. For example, nanomaterials can strengthen both steel and concrete, keep dirt from sticking to windows, kill bacteria on hospital walls, make materials fire-resistant, drastically improve the efficiency of solar panels, boost the efficiency of indoor lighting and even allow bridges and buildings to "feel" the cracks, corrosion and stress that will eventually cause structural failures.

In compiling the report, Lee, Mahendra and Alvarez analyzed more than 140 scientific papers on the benefits and risks of nanomaterials. In addition to the myriad benefits for the construction industry, they also identified potential adverse health and environmental effects. In some cases, the very properties that make the nanomaterials useful can cause potential problems if the material is not disposed of properly. For example, titanium dioxide particles exposed to ultraviolet light can generate molecules called "reactive oxygen species" that prevent bacterial films from forming on windows or solar panels. This same property could endanger beneficial bacteria in the environment.

"There are ways to engineer materials in advance to make them environmentally benign," Alvarez said. "There are also methods that allow us to consider the entire lifecycle of a product and to ensure that it can be recycled or reused rather than thrown away. The key is to understand the specific risks and implications of the product before it it is widely used."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Significant findings about protein architecture may aid in drug design, generation of nanomaterials
2. Pitt-led international study identifies human enzyme that breaks down potentially toxic nanomaterials, opens door to novel drug delivery
3. Pitt-led study identifies human enzyme that breaks down potentially toxic nanomaterials
4. Incorporating biofunctionality into nanomaterials for medical, health devices
5. NIEHS awards Recovery Act funds to focus more research on health and safety of nanomaterials
6. UTSA Physics Department receives $2.7 million to study nanomaterials
7. Contaminated site remediation: Are nanomaterials the answer?
8. Canadian researchers set to study impact of nanomaterials on aquatic ecosystems
9. Research explores interactions between nanomaterials, biological systems
10. Revealing new applications for carbon nanomaterials in hydrogen storage
11. Yale journal finds nanomaterials may have large environmental footprint
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nanomaterials poised for big impact in construction
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SoftServe ... announced BioLock , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor ... monitoring, a key IoT asset. The smart system ... a vehicle,s steering wheel and mobile devices to ... touch. As vehicle technology advances, so ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... -- Nearly one billion matches per second with DERMALOG,s high-speed ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: ... (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System is part ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher On Card ... submitted for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange ... the mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... continuing test of fingerprint templates used to establish ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... discovers, develops and plans to commercialize innovative therapeutics ... of common stock were approved for trading on ... trading on the OTCQX, effective today, under the ... the OTCQX market, companies must meet high financial ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today announced ... $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included participation ... and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings the ... (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand its ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016   Biocept, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... clinically actionable liquid biopsy tests to improve the ... featuring its Target Selector™ Circulating Tumor Cell platform ... detection of actionable biomarkers in patients with metastatic ... Sara Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), the research arm ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... McLean, VA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... peer-reviewed medical journal has concluded that “in the setting of previously treated, advanced ... Further refinement in defining the optimal patient population and timing of blood sampling ...
Breaking Biology Technology: