Andrea Tiwari presented a poster titled “Oxidation of C60 by Ozone”. She discussed her studies on the rapid oxidation of C60 by atmospherically relevant concentrations of ozone and how this could affect the environmental fate and transport of C60 and other carbonaceous nanomaterials. Andrea was also one of the recipients of the SNO 2012 student awards.
VT-SuN is playing an important role in revamping the Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory (NCPI), initiated by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ (WWICS). Dr. Matthew Hull gave a presentation outlining the unique University/NGO partnership initiated by the VT-SuN and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology (PEN) at WWICS, to radically modify and improve modify the existing inventory. The recommended modifications will involve more advanced and scientific categorization of products, incorporation of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approaches for decision‐making and advanced information sharing through crowd-sourcing and open users community.
Dr. Sean McGinnis talked about the importance of incorporating LCA while revamping the NCPI. His presentation outlined how a life cycle thinking based approach will help in better characterization and classification of nano-enabled products based on compositions, dimensions, and concentrations of the constituent nanomaterials, and develop novel ranking schemes to address the uncertainties in the properties of the existing nanomaterials, nanocomposites and nano-enabled products. In his talk, Dr. McGinnis also highlighted some of the LCA-related work currently being done by VT-SuN.
Paramjeet Pati presented a comparative LCA study which looked at different synthesis processes for gold and silver nanoparticles. Through this study, ‘greener’ synthesis processes were compared with conventional methods using SimaPro. This study gave insight into how LCA can be useful in screening out inefficient synthesis processes and highlighted the lack of nano-specific information in the current life cycle inventories (LCIs).
The conference provided a great platform to meet with the leaders in nanotechnology and discuss the current status and challenges regarding sustainable nanotechnologies. The next SNO conference is scheduled from Nov. 3 – 5, 2013 in Southern California.