Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating materials on a molecular scale with a goal of building microscopic devices. In the context of saving the environment, green nanotechnology works to enhance the environmental sustainability of processes that are currently contributing to the production of numerous amounts of negative externalities. Nanotechnology aims to increase energy production while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. The research behind this initiative also works to develop new green techniques and technologies that will allow for safer, and healthier practices when it comes to serious public health concerns, such as food and water quality. Nanotechnology research can be used to help clean up past environmental damage, correct present environmental problems, prevent future environmental impacts, and help sustain the planet for future generations.
The diagram depicts a number of potential benefits associated with green nanotechnology. As an emerging technology, it is important to consider these potential benefits, along with the possible risks associated with nanotechnology at an environmental level. Possible risks may include: unpredicted effects, mobilization/transportation of pollutants to another area, and nanoparticles accumulating and ultimately becoming trapped in our soil and/or water sources. Nanotechnology is expected to be incorporated into all aspects of daily life within the next 30 years. The possibilities associated with this science are infinite and the effects will one day be felt and seen across the globe.