Benefits of Nanotechnology [Mechanical engineering]

Benefits of Nanotechnology

Results of Our Ongoing Research

Advanced nanotech can solve many human problems. Technology is not a panacea. However, it can be extremely useful in solving many kinds of problems. Improved housing and plumbing will increase health. More efficient agriculture and industry save water, land, materials, and labor, and reduce pollution. Access to information, education, and communication provides many opportunities for self improvement, economic efficiency, and participatory government. Cheap, reliable power is vital for the use of other technologies and provides many conveniences. Today, technology relies on distributed manufacturing, which requires many specialized materials and machines and highly trained labor. It is a difficult and slow process to develop an adequate technology base in an impoverished area. However, molecular manufacturing does not require skilled labor or a large supporting infrastructure; a single personal nanofactory (PN) with a single chemical supply and power supply can produce a wide range of useful, reliable products, including copies of itself to double the manufacturing infrastructure in hours, if desired. Thus PNs, and many of their products, are "appropriate technology" for almost any setting.
Many diverse problems are related to water. A few basic problems create vast amounts of suffering and tragedy. According to a World Bank document, water is a major concern of the U.N. Almost half the world's population lacks access to basic sanitation, and almost 1.5 billion have no access to clean water. Of the water used in the world, 67% is used for agriculture, and another 19% for industry. Residential use accounts for less than 9%. Much industry can be directly replaced by molecular manufacturing. Agriculture can be moved into greenhouses. Residential water can be treated and recycled. Adoption of these steps could reduce water consumption by at least 50%, and probably 90%. Water-related diseases kill thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of children each day. This is entirely preventable with basic technology, cheap to manufacture—if the factories are cheap and portable. MNT can provide similar opportunities in many other areas.
Much water today is wasted because it is almost but not entirely pure. Simple, reliable mechanical and electrical treatment technologies can recover brackish or tainted water for agricultural or even domestic use. These technologies require only initial manufacturing and a modest power supply. Physical filters with nanometer-scale pores can remove 100% of bacteria, viruses, and even prions. An electrical separation technology that...


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