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Green technology and nanotechnology are two rapidly advancing fields that have the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. While green technology focuses on developing sustainable and environmentally friendly products and processes, nanotechnology deals with the study and manipulation of materials at the nanoscale. By combining these two fields, we can create innovative solutions that not only have a low impact on the environment but also offer improved efficiency and performance. In this article, we will explore how green technology and nanotechnology can co-exist and complement each other to create a more sustainable future.
Nanotechnology has caused much enthusiasm throughout the world. It is seen as a significant technology of the 21st century, but progress has stagnated due to a lack of awareness of the risks connected with it and a lack of regulation to control new concerns. Researchers are switching to a more environmentally friendly green approach to make nanotechnology sustainable and non-toxic, but the transition itself is particularly complex.
The impending question of how green technology and nanotechnology can co-exist is a constant challenge, and scientists are always looking for new, cutting-edge answers.
To examine the potential of green nanotechnology, it is necessary to first comprehend what nanotechnology is and why it is detrimental.
Nanotechnology is a central talking point in several industrial sectors because of its numerous uses in the fields of biology, optics, medicine, electronics, agriculture, chemicals, coatings, energy, catalysis, and pharmaceutics. New and different features offer several benefits when manufacturing nanomaterials, such as magnetism.
With the addition of nanomaterials into their products, businesses may develop cutting-edge technologies that are more sustainable. Nanotechnology not only improves the use and appearance of these products, but it also makes large economic rewards from their sale.
Nanotechnology-derived products can also help fulfill water quality regulations and health reports by lowering harmful component concentrations at sub-levels. They have outperformed typical old materials in terms of speed and efficiency in water treatment.
There are two main methods for synthesizing nanomaterials-physical and chemical approaches, such as thermal decomposition for silver nanomaterials, electrochemical process, microwave-assisted method, etc. However, these techniques have several drawbacks, such as the fact that they are costly, time-consuming, complex, and need the use of toxic chemicals that may be harmful to the environment and ecological system.
For instance, reducing agents like sodium borohydride and hydrazinium hydroxide present during chemical synthesis are highly toxic in nature and negatively impact human health and the environment. Toxic solvents also contribute to the increased toxicity of NPs.
This is where the use of green technology is necessary. But how can green technology and nanotechnology coexist when the process of making nanomaterials uses harmful chemicals itself?
Green technology entails conscious attempts aimed at creating sensible and practical rules for manufacturing products safely. The objective is to minimize dangers related to nanotechnology-related goods as much as possible.
The applications of nanotechnology that have a direct or indirect positive impact on the environment are considered to be green. The advantages of direct environmental uses include remediation of wastewater and drinking water, treatment of contaminated sites, and surveillance using nano-enabled sensors. Two examples of indirect environmental uses are using lighter nanocomposites in transportation vehicles or producing fewer waste-producing small goods. It can provide a solution to the pressing question of how green technology and nanotechnology can coexist.
The term “green” refers to the usage of plant-based materials, and green nanotechnology is a subset of green technology that applies the ideas of green chemistry and green engineering. The green synthesis of a metal nanoparticle is favourable since no harmful ingredients are used in the process.
Utilizing fewer resources and renewable inputs wherever feasible minimizes energy and fuel usage. Additionally, by conserving raw materials, energy, and water and lowering greenhouse emissions and toxic waste, nanotechnological goods, methods, and technologies are anticipated to contribute to environmental and climatic preservation significantly.
The primary benefits of green nanotechnology are improved energy efficiency, lower waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and diminished use of non-renewable resources. Green nanotechnology provides an excellent chance to halt the negative impacts before they happen.
Let us examine a few of the frequently employed green synthesis methods for developing nanomaterials.
Green synthesis is the process of making nanoparticles from fungi, bacteria, plants, and animals. These methods offer quick, economical, and environmentally friendly replacements.
In comparison to bacteria and fungi, plant-mediated synthesis of nanoparticles is a relatively short and uncomplicated procedure. The plant-based extracts are economical, less likely to cause pollution, do not need special storage conditions, are durable in harsh environments, and are simple to manufacture on a large scale.
Biological synthesis of nanoparticles
The synthesis of nanoparticles benefits significantly from the capability of bacteria to reduce metal ions. Different bacterial species are used to create metallic and other innovative nanoparticles. Prokaryotic bacteria and actinomycetes have primarily carried out the production of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles.
The relatively simple manipulation of the bacteria has led to the adoption of bacterial nanoparticle production. Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus casei, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, Rhodopseudomonas capsulate, and others are a few examples of bacterial strains that have been widely used to synthesize nanoparticles.
Fungi provide a highly effective approach for synthesizing nanoparticles with well-defined morphology. Fungi serve as a biological agent for the creation of nanoparticles because they contain an intracellular enzyme. In comparison to bacteria, fungi make more nanoparticles. Various fungus species produce silver, gold, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide nanoparticles.
Yeast is a unicellular microorganism. There are more than 1500 yeast species known. Numerous scientists have reported employing yeast in the synthesis of nanoparticles. Yeast is used for creating many nanoparticles or nanoparticles.
Plant-mediated metal nanoparticle production is preferable to microbial synthesis due to the requirement to enhance cultivation techniques. The nanoparticles can be reduced and stabilized using various plants. Plant extracts contain chemical components like phenols, reducing sugars, ascorbic acids, and others that help stabilize the nanoparticles and allow them to adhere to surfaces. Many scientists have employed plant parts, including leaves, stems, roots, and fruits, to synthesize metal or metal oxide nanoparticles utilizing biological methods.
Plant-mediated synthesis of nanoparticles
Researchers experimented with the idea of how green technology and nanotechnology can co-exist and concluded that it is, in fact, viable in their effort to make nanotechnology more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Green nanotechnology has the potential to grow into a sector with highly high green credentials as it gets more commercialized. The pharmaceutical business will need to work hard to implement green nanotechnology. But in the end, it raises standards of living, encourages environmental responsibility, and advances moral principles in the realm of nanotechnology.