DOE: Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency workshop report (2007)

Subject Area:
Non-NNI External Workshop Reports
EHS-related Documents
Author: DOE
Publication Date: Dec. 1 2007

Description:
Industrial stakeholders recognize that significant energy savings are possible from the use of nanotechnologies in industrial manufacturing settings. Estimates of 0.5 to 1.1 quadrillion Btu/year* of energy savings and over 60 million metric tons of CO2e/yr† reduction have been predicted as benefits from a limited set of nanotechnology applications in the chemicals, refining, and maritime industries alone. Given this potential, accelerating the development of nanomanufacturing technologies is critical in reducing industrial energy consumption and strengthening the global competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector. However, substantial technical challenges must be overcome to enable a commercially viable nanomanufacturing industry.   More then 100 industry experts, scientists, and engineers met on June 5-6, 2007 at the Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency Workshop to identify nanomanufacturing research, development and demonstration (RD&D) needs and business initiatives that, if implemented, will lead to sizeable energy reductions and increased productivity in the industrial sector in the next 5 to 10 years. The following crosscutting manufacturing areas were identified as target applications:  
  • Catalysis – lower temperature reactions and reduction of byproducts
  • Coatings – low-friction, low-drag, and self-lubricating surfaces
  • Light-weighting – reduced rotating, sliding, and conveying weights
  • Material modification – ultra-hard, wear-resistant, and enhanced properties
  • Separations – alternative to distillation and evaporative processes
  • Thermal management – superior heat transfer fluids, low conductivity barriers
  • Thin films – thermoelectric heat recovery, energy storage

The Workshop sessions identified two applied research and engineering challenges in developing a reliable industrial nanomanufacturing base:

  • the ability to produce nanomaterials with the requisite qualities and in quantities useful for industry manufacturing applications, and
  • the ability to integrate these nanomaterials at an industrial scale into useful products without losing the nanomaterial’s unique properties that produce the desired result.

Nanotechnology Fact

The United States is not the only country to recognize the tremendous economic potential of nanotechnology. The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative's member agencies have cumulatively spent more than $23 billion since the inception of the NNI in 2001. According to a Lux Research estimate released in December 2015, “The U.S. leads in government (state and Federal) nanotechnology funding with $1.72 billion spent in 2013 and $1.67 billion spent in 2014. Europe’s collective spending (European Commission and individual country programs) was $2.45 billion in 2014, an increase of 9.8% from 2012. While some countries, such as the U.S., continue to have centralized government programs to coordinate nanotechnology activities, most countries no longer do. In fact, many countries no longer explicitly fund nanotechnology, although it may be a part of initiatives that are funded under different technology support programs. Because of this change, it is difficult to determine with certainty the level of nanotechnology funding by country or region.”

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