The uses of nanotechnology are boundless. This latest technology is making its move towards every industry and bringing amazing outputs by breaking the norms. So, in this article, we are going see some of the industries in which nanotechnology is playing a significant role and we are also going to explore some career options along with finding the other side of nanotechnology what do I mean by that you ask, well, we are going to discover the answers for most asked questions like, Is nanotechnology really worth all the hype? can it fulfill all the promises? if so, what are the chances of the words of hope coming to existence? We are also going to see million dollar companies that are making huge profits by using nanotechnology, so if you wanna know the secrets of this “nanotechnology” then keep reading…
● Coating and painting
It is proven that nanotechnology can enhance the properties of coating and painting as the nanoparticles help in increasing the durability and it can also improve the resistance power by making painting and coatings water-resistant.
The nanoparticles also act as dirt repellents and they build a layer that safeguards the paints from antimicrobials.
The most used nanomaterials for this process are titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide.
But, the researchers are still working on different nanomaterials like silver, zinc oxide, aluminum oxide, and magnesium oxide to develop the properties.
“Nissan” is the world’s first company to come up with a self-cleaning car by using the nanotechnology called Ultra-Ever Dry, the cars are painted by using advanced nanotechnology which remove the dirt and water and keeps the car clean effortlessly.
● Inks and toners
Nanotechnology brought impressive changes in the printing sector and the contribution of this technology is extending in the production of printing material which takes us to our main subject “inks and toners”.
Nanomaterials are used in pigments and these pigments are introduced to inkjets to prevent clogging and printing nozzles.
However, it’s not always unicorns and rainbows, the researchers from Harvard University says that the usage of nanomaterials in toner powders are harmful and the printers have to be placed in open space with free ventilation, they claim that these tiny sized particles can get into the lungs with inhalation and cause respiratory and cardiovascular damage.
The usage of nanotechnology in pharmaceuticals ultimately works for one particular goal which is to deliver the drug to different sites that are usually impossible to reach.
However, the nanomaterials also help in increasing the solubility and bioavailability.
The usage of Nanotechnology doesn’t stop with pharmaceuticals as it has also made contributions in developing therapeutic devices and the usage of these devices has escalated in the past decade.
Experts and researchers believe that the role nanotechnology is going to have is more significant especially in the drug delivery and formulation area.
● Cosmetic and personal care products
The researchers believe that this magical technology can also suppress the power of aging by maintaining youthful skin.it protects our skin from sun rays and it is used in products like sunscreens, skin lotions, and face creams. These are made by using nanomaterials as they can blend in the skin naturally without leaving any white cast and protect skin from sunlight.
The nanoparticles like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used in sunscreens as they can protect the skin from the sun and they are not penetrated into the skin, in order to prove this point a real-time experiment is done where the volunteers are asked to apply the sunscreen that contains 19 to 110 nanometers of zinc oxide, the results showed that less than 0.01 % of zinc enter the bloodstream which means nanoparticles will not cause any kind of damage when used in sunscreens.
● Rubber products
To lift up the features of natural rubber nanomaterials like carbon black are used especially in manufacturing car tires. The usage of nanomaterials tremendously increases the lifespan of a tire and helps in improving the wear and strength.
Many tire manufacturing companies like “Cabot” tested the “purenano” the nanomaterials that are designed by Nanoproducts Corporation of Colorado and using these particles in tires which reduced the need of manufacturing new tire rubber
The plastic materials are treated with nanotechnology and used in thermoplastics, these provide heat resistance and they act as good electricity conductors. Usually, these materials are used in vehicle manufacturing,fuel-line components, etc.
Plastic is highly used in cosmetic packaging which is disturbing the ecosystem, however, a project named “NANOPACK” has been started. IVACE and the FEDER co-funded this project and the plastic technology center (AIMPLAS) and the technology AINIA have taken part in this great project by participating actively, With this project, it is proven that nanoparticles combined with plastic can be used for the cosmetic package as they can enhance the properties and improves the sustainability.
● Fabric, textile, and apparel
Many global companies like Nano textile, GoGo textiles, and Nano-tex are using nanotechnology to coat the fabrics like synthetic, cotton, and silk as they provide permanent antibacterial properties in a single coat, the coating process is extremely economical and eco friendly.
Some interesting features of textiles reinforced with nanotechnology are as following
- They are Stain-proof and wrinkle resistant
- Bodywarmers are produced with this technology, they adjust the with body temperature and by providing more comfort
- As said above they are also used to produce fabrics with permanent antibacterials properties
- This emerging technology is rapidly stretching its features across many industries and the food industry is definitely not an exception.
- It is proven that the shelf life of food is increased by using the nano packaging material, it also helps in improving food safety and alerts the eater if the food is spoiled
- Nanotechnology also helps in detecting the bacteria in the packaging and improves the flavours and food colour, it even the capability of releasing preservatives in order to increase the selling life of the food.
The trend of using nanotechnology went on to the agriculture field and it has made an outstanding innovation called “nanofertilizers”
The studies stated that almost 50% of fertilizers are mixed up with the environment, in fact, in some cases, 90% of fertilizers are lost in the environment which causes tremendous damage to the environment.
This problem is solved by using nano fertilizers as they are absorption efficient by the targeted plants. The plant absorption rate is increased to 90% and this made nano fertilizers best for agriculture.
● Oil industry
The oil industry has many materials like lighter and strangers with corrosion resistance that is created by using Nanotubes by using nanotechnology we can separate oil and gas from reservoirs with minimal efforts by understanding the molecular level.
A petroleum laboratory came up with an advanced fluid by mixing nanosized particles and fine powder which in result accelerates the drilling speed and removes the damage in bear wellbore zones and it is proven that the recovery process can be done easily by injecting nanosensors into oil and gas wellbores.
● Gas industry
The chances of improving unconventional gas resources through nanotechnology are high.
- The initial challenges are drawn towards liquefied natural gas infrastructure, efficiency, quality, and developing gas-to-liquids technology
- middle term challenges reference to include developing super pipelines; constructing floating gas-to-liquids platforms; production, regasification, and storage issues; and compressed natural gas transport.
- Long-term issues are the production of methane hydrates and gas by wire producing electricity at the location of the gas source and carrying the electricity by wire to market rather than the gas to market by pipeline.
All these challenges can be addressed by using Nanotechnology by coming up with nanocatalysts and nanoscale membranes for gas-to-liquids production and nanostructured materials are used for compressed natural gas transport or long-distance electricity transmission.
Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology
Being a new technology and making wonder in any field did grab many scientists’ attention. However, this latest technology has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The nanomaterials are well-known for their small size and this is exactly why they can be harmful in order of health and safety, scientists haven’t figured what these particles can do when they are extremely exposed.
Nanotoxicology is a study of toxicity in nanomaterial.it is a sub-branch of partial toxicology.
The nanomaterials usually don’t show any toxic behavior when in bulk but, they can cause a threat to the human body as they can move with higher levels of freedom and they are capable of affecting large particles.
Explicit Career options in Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology bought an explicit career option along with it. So, if you are someone interested in exploring future technology, then have a look at all the trending roles.
- Applications Engineer.
- Director of Product Marketing.
- Manufacturing Engine.
- Director of Research.
- Optical Engineer.
- Product Marketing Engineer.
- Technical Program Manager.
- Research Scientist.
The opportunities for any mentioned roles are extremely high as nanotechnology is used in cosmetic brands like l’oreal to local fertilize manufacturers. If you are interested in any of the above fields go ahead and be a part of the great revolutionary technology.
As we came to an end let me give you a snippet about all the things we have discussed in this article.
We learnt all the fields that are using nanotechnology and the benefits that are brought by nanotechnology,we talked about Nanotoxicology and ended up talking about carrier options that you can explore in this vast technology.
Contribution of nanotechnology in painting and cotaings http://www.internationaljournalssrg.org/IJCER/2014/Volume1-Issue1/IJCER-V1I1P104.pdf
Nissan self car cleaning technology
The latest research on nanomaterials used in inks and toners
Usage of nanotechnology in pharmaceuticals
Usage of nanotechnology in cosmetics and skincare
Nanoparticles used in sunscreens
Nanotechnology in rubber industry
Nanotechnology in plastic industries
Plastic nanotechnology for packages
Nanotechnology in fabric
Nanotechnology in food
Nanotechnology in agriculture
Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology
Career in Nanotechnology