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October 18, 2016

2016 SNO Conference Will Focus on Sustainable Nanotechnology Systems

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The 2016 Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) conference will be held November 10-12, 2016.  The conference sessions will be organized around selected “systems,” and sessions will be populated with talks on applications, effects and implications, analytical methods, and lifecycle aspects of nanomaterials within each system.  The aims are to identity where nanomaterials and nanotechnology can improve the sustainability of each system and to foster integration of knowledge between applications and implications within each system.  SNO’s web page for the conference states that in the following systems of interest, SNO asks how to help reach sustainability through nanotechnology:

  • Food/agricultural systems: Precision agriculture; pesticide delivery, nutrient delivery, improved food packaging and preservation; food fortification; stabilizing soil; and human health and environmental implications;
  • Energy systems: Energy storage; generation by solar and wind; energy transmission; carbon dioxide capture and storage; plant efficiency improvements; system controls; and air pollution control in fossil systems;
  • Air/water systems: Drinking water treatment; air pollution controls, wastewater treatment; groundwater remediation; pollution prevention; disinfection; decreasing the energy footprint of water treatment; distribution systems; source water protection; and lowering demand for water in industry and households, air filtration systems;
  • Industry/manufacturing (in general, not just nanomanufacturing) systems: Lowering process energy requirements; using more benign materials; safety of nanomaterials compared to alternatives; substitution for renewable resources; pollution prevention; monitoring systems for manufacturing; lifecycle releases of nanomaterials and models to predict exposure concentrations; and economic sustainability of nanotechnology;
  • Solid waste (especially e-waste) management: Recycling of nanomaterials; resource recovery from landfills; improved quality of recycled materials; and advanced waste management;
  • Environmental/biological systems: Ecotoxicity; ecosystem responses to nanomaterial releases; improved monitoring tools, exposure routes and exposure models for consumers and the environment; and models for environmental fate and exposures of nanomaterials;
  • Health/medical systems: Diagnostic tools for healthcare; nanomedicine and improved drug delivery; and models for nanotoxicity prediction/reduction;
  • Urban systems: Improving construction materials; building more sustainable residences and commercial buildings; improving energy systems for heating and cooling; and improving transportation systems (including increasing fuel efficiency; decreasing weight of vehicles; building better catalysts);
  • Education systems: Curriculum development for sustainable nanotechnology, case studies, materials development, and informal education networks; and
  • Social systems and governance: Upcoming laws and regulations; systems of governance of nanomaterials; social justice concerns; education; and calculating and communicating benefits (and risks) of nanotechnology.

The conference program will address the above topics from both a fundamental and applied viewpoint.  SNO intends the conference to foster new collaborations between academic and industrial participants.  According to SNO, this community of users, researchers, and developers of engineered nanomaterials will provide a long-term, scientific assessment of where the science is for sustainable nano, where it should be heading, and what steps academics, government agencies, and others can take now to reach targeted goals.  The deadline for hotel registration for conference rates is October 24, 2016.  Late conference registration fees will apply beginning October 29, 2016.