Alongside renewable energy, green tech is tipped to become employment sector number one in the next decades if you believe reports by major organizations covering green jobs. But my hunch is to keep a check of nano technology as well. Because green technology's tendency to thrive on clever solutions to reduce energy usage is all great but it boils down to a rather finite activity. Humans will look for the next challenge and switch their attention to those found in truly greening production of tangible materials. That’s in essence the domain of nanotechnology.
Numbers of the National Science Foundation estimate that by 2015 nanotechnology will be worth $1 trillion in the world economy, employing over 2 million people .
That compares to UN figures indicating that the global green economy of environmental products and services is estimated to double from US$1,370 billion (1.37 trillion) per year to US$2,740 billion (2.74 trillion) by 2020. The comparison makes little sense, I know, but hey, these are figures that are seldomly released so bear with me.
For the time being there has been little reason to be all to obsessed with nanotechnology in a green context. That is because nano-engineered products are both intensely distrusted and overly hyped. We seem to be aware of the technology's potential in a positive sense yet there’s also a tremendous amount of skepticism because toxic substances are often created in the process that ordinary technology can’t handle.
But then again, those few nano-products that actually are green at the core are incredibly laudable. One example is the production of environmentally friendly gold particles, a recent development that the manufacturing marketplace is already wildly enthusiastic about. GreenNano, the new nanotech company that started commercializing eco-friendly gold nano-particles is receiving lots of press attention. The man who heads it all up, Kattesh Katti, is the renowned professor of radiology and physics attached to the University of Missouri's School of Medicine and College of Arts and Science.
Gold nano-particles are used in industrial applications ranging from cancer treatment to automobile sensors to cell phones and hydrogen gas production. The (patent pending) method Katti has invented eliminates synthetic chemicals involved in the production of gold nano-particles. That means that the production process is entirely environmentally friendly.
GreenNano submerses gold salts in water and then adds soybeans. A complex but wholly natural process leads to the creation of gold nano-particles. Sounds almost too good to be true, but more curious things have known to have occurred in the nano-business (including the growth of cell phones on plants).
GreenNano Company is in the midst of developing, commercializing and organizing the supply of gold nano particles for medical and technological applications. In my view the most exciting thing is that the creation, marketing and distribution of the new product is not where the story ends. According to Professor Katti, because the production procedure has changed so profoundly, other researchers are developing new uses for the technology.
In other words, we’re evolving!