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:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at VivaTech ... startups and global businesses, taking place in Paris ... will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM Watson ... France is one of the most dynamic ... in the number of startups created between 2012 and 2015*, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... announced that the CTNext board of directors has formed a Higher Education Entrepreneurship ... working group composed of institution presidents and other high-ranking representatives from 35 higher ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... PhD, a well-versed leader with extensive assay development and biomarker expertise, as VP ... is a Boston CRO specializing in bio-analytical assay development and sample testing services. ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... EDETEK, Inc., a clinical technology company focused ... two new additions of its award-winning cloud-based platform CONFORM™: Information Hub and Clinical ... Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June 19-22, 2017. , “Modern clinical trials use ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... today announced that its Anzo Smart Data Lake® (Anzo SDL) solution was ... for the 2017 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Awards. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: