New research to discern environmental effects of nanotube productionApril 9th, 2008 - 1:37 pm ICT by admin
Washington, April 9 (ANI): A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is studying how harmful the process of making nanotubes can be to the environment.
This research project attains significance as carbon nanotubes are moving fast towards finding its application in almost all products and services, and have been hailed as the next wonder material for a multi-billion dollar manufacturing industry in the 21st century.
The researchers believes that the process of making nanotubes have unintentional and potentially harmful impacts on the environment, and investigating them is important to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.
They recently analysed 10 commercially made carbon nanotubes to identify the chemical byproducts of the manufacturing process, and found that all of them had different compositions.
The studys result was striking because most previous toxicity studies were based on the assumption that all nanotubes are the same.
Desiree Plata, an MIT/WHOI graduate student, has revealed that she will collect real-time data from a European nanotube manufacturing facility in the next phase of the study.
It is the indiscriminant use of poorly understood chemicals that causes environmental and public health costs, Plata said.
We want to work proactively with the carbon nanotube industry to avoid repeating environmental mistakes of the past. Instead of reacting to problems, we hope to preclude them altogether, she added.
Plata was honoured in February for her nanotube work by the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, which selected her as a winner of one of its 2008 Graduate Student Paper Awards. (ANI)
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