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Nanotechnology and Sustainability: A Critical Review of Current Trendsand Future Developments
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report considers both contributions and adverse consequences, uncertainties, and unknownrelationships that are potentially involved in the advances of techno-economic and humanisticinterests towards the advances in Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (N&N). Because of thedistinctive physical and chemical properties of materials at nanoscales, which have not beenunderstood deeply yet, besides the huge potentials to benefit many areas of research andapplication, it is recognized that application of N&N may raise new ecological, health and safety,socio-economic, and regulatory challenges that will require scientific, techno-economic, andsocietal considerations. A comprehensive literature survey of peer reviewed journals, books, andother authoritative sources indicate that there have been very few studies on these fundamentalaspects and the research investments are mainly sponsored for market purposes, rather than forpure scientific structure-function discoveries or sustainability attitudes. The overarching issue ofimportance in this study is to consider the high level of uncertainties and lack of knowledge inN&N, and the great potential threats and impacts of engineered nanoproducts that can be eitherin form of known-unknowns or even unknown-unknowns. Moreover, measures of improvementto govern N&N developments to become sustainable, including public communication, call forpure and high quality non-prescribed research on unknown characteristics of N&N, health and environmental friendliness based on a life cycle approach, and the industrial ecology approach,together with implementation of the related results in practice have been suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 50 p.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2009:14
Keyword [en]
nanoscience, nanotechnology, sustainability
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33099OAI: diva2:413321
www.ima.kth.seAvailable from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-04-28 Last updated: 2011-05-02Bibliographically approved

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