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Grantee Research Project Results

NCER Grantee Research Project Results

Sustainability Assessment of Nanotechnology Manufacturing Processes

EPA Grant Number: F6A10616
Title: Sustainability Assessment of Nanotechnology Manufacturing Processes
Investigators: Mauter, Meagan
Institution: Washington University
EPA Project Officer: Boddie, Georgette
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through September 1, 2009
Project Amount: $111,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2006)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Environmental Engineering , Nanotechnology

Description:

Objective:

As engineers discover additional applications of nanotechnology, demand for nanomaterials will increase dramatically. The ensuing increase in production may have harmful environmental implications if manufacturing techniques do not incorporate principles of environmental sustainability in their design. This proposed research aims to characterize the environmental implications of nanomaterial production and to investigate opportunities where the principles of environmentally sustainable manufacturing and green engineering can be applied to large scale nanomaterial fabrication.

Approach:

This project will assess the environmental impacts of the nanomaterial fabrication process and will produce a set of sustainability metrics for current production techniques. It will also contribute to one piece of the total Life-Cycle Assessment for a number of nanomaterials. The size of the nanomaterial fabrication industry will significantly expand as new applications for nanomaterials are identified. Assessing the environmental impacts of current production techniques will help engineers and industry to identify opportunities for implementing the principles of green engineering for sustainable manufacturing of nanomaterials. Sustainability metrics for nanomaterials that incorporate product added value will also assist industry and regulators in determining appropriate uses for nanomaterials.

Expected Results:

My research interests include:

  1. characterize the environmental implications of current nanomaterial production,
  2. investigate opportunities where the principles of environmentally sustainable manufacturing and green engineering can be applied to large scale nanomaterial fabrication,
  3. collaborate on the design of novel, environmentally benign nanomaterial fabrication techniques
  4. assess policies that encourage continued innovation towards environmentally sensitive nanotechnology fabrication

Supplemental Keywords:

nanotechnology, green chemistry, environmental engineering,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, environmentally conscious manufacturing, environmental hazard assessment, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, alternative materials, engineering, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, nanomaterials, sustainability metrics, life cycle assessment

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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