Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Studying the impact of nanotechnology on plants. Environmental problems of nanotechnology

 Studying the impact of nanotechnology on plants. Environmental problems of nanotechnology

The text of the paper is posted without images and formulas.

The full version of the paper is available on the tab "Working files" in PDF format

1. Introduction.

It can be assumed that the complete removal of the harmful effects of human activities on the environment can be prevented

First, due to the saturation of the ecosphere with molecular robot nurses, who turn the waste of human activity into raw material.

Second, by the transition of industry and agriculture to nanotechnological methods without waste.

The problem of ecology has occupied humanity for a long time. And with the increase in progress, i.e. environmental pollution, environmental problems are becoming more and more important. Recently, they are increasingly being solved with the help of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is a field of science and technology that deals with a set of theoretical and practical research methods, analysis and synthesis, and methods for the production and use of products that have a given atomic structure. The production of such products takes place through the controlled manipulation of individual molecules and atoms. The use of nanotechnology helps to significantly reduce environmental pollution. Nanotechnological methods are used in various fields in many countries of the world.

However, nanotechnology is a new science and, despite its advantages and benefits, raises concerns. However, every medallion always has two sides, so despite the numerous clear positive effects of nanotechnology on the lives of modern people, nanoparticles can also be harmful when used in some industries. Today, nanotechnology is used in almost all areas of modern life. 

Nanoparticles are used, for example, even in cosmetics and perfumery. Thus, titanium oxide nanoparticles are found in some sunscreens. These nanoparticles absorb ultraviolet radiation with great efficiency, which undoubtedly makes such creams much more effective than conventional ones. Later, however, studies were conducted that showed that, for example, carbon nanotubes have a harmful effect on rats. Carbon nanotubes, reaching the lungs of rats,

The main problem is that nanoparticles penetrate absolutely all purification filters that exist today. Therefore, as the use of nanotechnology becomes more and more active, there will be a certain revolution in ecology. Special filters will be made to capture nanoparticles.

Since nanotechnology obviously makes human life easier, it can be assumed that, first, nanotechnology will not be used in all industries, but only in those where it is necessary. And, secondly, the negative effect of nanoparticles will soon be studied and new methods of protection will be invented.The place of nanotechnology among branches of knowledge

2. Main part

2.1 Nanohistory

Technologies determine the quality of life of each of us and the power of the state in which we live.

400 BC Greek philosopher Democritus first used the word "atom";

1704 Isaac Newton - assumptions about the study of the "secret of corpuscles";

1959 Richard Feyman - assumption about the mechanical movement of individual atoms;

In 1974, Norio Taniguchi first used the term "nanotechnology";

In 1980, Eric Drexler used this term.

2.2 Environmental problems.

2.2.1 The problem of ecology due to nanotechnology.

Nowadays, only a lazy person does not talk about the prospects of nanotechnology. Anyone interested in this topic will immediately find information about fullerenes and quantum dots, about nanotubes, which are 60 times stronger than steel and can withstand a temperature of 2500 degrees and a pressure of 6000 atmospheres. Dozens of analytical articles have been written about the fantastic benefits of nanoindustry products. And unpredictable dangers. Because of their size and unique properties, nanoparticles in manufactured products require careful study – whether they can enter the human body, and if they can, how long they stay there. In addition, it is necessary to study the behavior and movement of nanoparticles in the environment and, most importantly, whether these materials will affect human health and the state of nature.

Another problem is studying the behavior of nanoparticles in water. Currently, this issue is poorly developed. The issue is complicated by the fact that complex studies are needed on the ability of each type of soil or artificial filter to retain certain nanoparticles. This question is currently being addressed by scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology. They performed a series of experiments, during which water containing fullerenes was passed through flasks filled with sand, soil, glass microgranules and other materials. It turned out that the sand retains up to 80% of the nanoparticles, but the scientists also concluded that the composition of the water affects the filtration. The presence of humic acid or surfactants in the water will allow the nanoparticles to pass freely through the sand.

As a whole, the picture that emerges based on the analysis of the data of the conducted studies allows us to conclude that nanotechnology is not as harmful as one might assume: nanoparticles do not poison the earth and water, and their entry into the body is not lethal and can be limited by filtration systems. The history of environmental and social problems of nanotechnology is not new - similar ideas appeared hundreds of years ago.

You definitely shouldn't think of the future of technology as rosy and celibate. Properly understanding nanoprocesses and side effects, creating a new generation filtration system, limiting unscrupulous manufacturers and terrorists are just some of the items on the list of tasks that we have to solve. However, it should be understood that the benefits of using nanotechnology will be greater than the possible difficulties in their implementation.

Scientists from Purdue University in the United States concluded that nanoparticles that enter the soil will not cause any noticeable damage to the ecosystem. A series of experiments were conducted in which fullerenes were placed in different types of soil, and then their behavior and their impact on microorganisms and minerals were investigated. Let us remind our readers that fullerene polyhedra of a spherical framework are composed of regular pentagons and hexagons with carbon atoms on top. Significant changes could be disastrous for elements of the plant food web. However, the results of observations show that this does not produce any negative dynamics: microorganisms live and flourish, the balance of substances is not disturbed.

Another global problem may be the presence of nanoparticles in the atmosphere. According to American scientists, these particles, reflecting the sun's rays, can change the climate of the planet, causing the next ice age. There is already information about their significant impact on weather conditions, and not always positive. One of the questions asked by both scientists and ordinary people, especially residents of megacities, is the air we breathe. It is no secret that the presence of a large number of chronic bronchitis and asthma diseases, including congenital cases of this disease, is explained by toxic and polluted emissions into the atmosphere of industrial enterprises and household appliances. The picture of a world in which, in order not to die of lung cancer at the age of 30, you need to breathe through a filter, as depicted by Stephen King in "The Running Man", becomes not so fantastic.

2.2.2 The problem of ecology due to man.

Consequences of human-caused environmental problems

Global warming

One of the most important environmental problems is the long-term increase in the average temperature of our planet's atmosphere. For the period 1960-2000. this value increased by about 0.5, and this growth became particularly stable in the 1980s. Scientists are convinced that the main reason for this increase is the increasing amount of fuel (coal, oil, etc.) burned by industrial plants, cars, etc. These are the products of combustion (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) and their interaction with solar radiation are the main factors in the rise in atmospheric temperature (greenhouse effect).

Therefore, for a long time, the main environmental problem has become the reduction of the level of consumption of the so-called of fossil fuels (oil and coal), which should also reduce the amount of carbon monoxide and other combustion products emitted into the atmosphere. . Therefore, the search for alternative sources of energy and the development of efficient methods of energy storage and transmission (for example, the creation of solar panels and fuel cells of a new type) have become an important scientific and technical task. Recently, it has been shown that the use of carbon nanotubes can lead to a significant increase in the efficiency of existing solar energy converters. In addition, it was discovered that carbon nanotubes can adsorb large amounts of hydrogen very efficiently, which immediately stimulated a series of research related to the development of fuel cells, batteries, etc.

Destruction of the ozone layer.

Another important environmental problem is the preservation of the ozone layer of the atmosphere, which is located at about 20 kilometers and plays an extremely important role in protecting the planet's surface from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. It is known that in recent years the ozone layer has been destroyed by the influence of many chemical reagents used in everyday life and industry. The main role in the processes of destruction of the ozone layer is played by freons, which are not "natural" but artificial products and are produced by the chemical industry for various purposes (aerosols, refrigerants, air conditioners, etc.).

A decrease in the ozone layer by 1% immediately leads to an increase in the incidence of skin cancer by 3-6% and leukemia by 1%. A 10% reduction in the ozone layer would have catastrophic consequences, as, according to some forecasts, the number of skin cancer patients would immediately increase by 20%, and the number of leukemia patients by 1.6-1.7 million. The destruction of the ozone layer has been noticeable for about 10 years, which scientists associate with the increasing emission of various freon compounds into the atmosphere. The best solution to the problem would, of course, be a complete ban on the use of freon, but that is unrealistic, and today there is an intensive search for substances that could replace freon in various applications. Nanotechnology can provide quite effective methods to solve this problem.

Acid rain

A very serious environmental problem for many countries (and especially for Japan) is the so-called acid rain (i.e. rain in which sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid ). The reason for the occurrence of such rains was the fact that a large amount of industrial waste enters the atmosphere. exhaust gas cars. Such waste can form various oxides of sulfur and nitrogen () in rain clouds, which react with water vapor, as a result of which a weak acid solution falls out instead of rain.

For Japan, acid rain has become a problem since the late 1990s. According to statistical data related to the central regions of Japan, during this period the number of respiratory diseases increased sharply, although it should be noted that already in 1974 in the Tohoku region, during the acid rains, an additional 30 thousand patients were recorded who complained of visual and skin disturbances diseases.

The most radical means of combating acid rain would be to switch to a new source of energy, which is not related to the burning of oil, coal, etc. Nanotechnology holds great promise for improving efficiency.

2.2.3 Solving environmental problems using nanotechnology.

Green nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology can change production processes in two ways. First, by rapidly reducing production waste and increasing its efficiency. Second, using nanomaterials as catalysts, which will increase the efficiency of production processes and allow you to get rid of toxic and dirty materials, as well as end products.

Green nanotechnology is technology that uses environmentally friendly chemical and technological processes. Ideally, green nanotechnology should improve manufacturing processes, material requirements, chemical processes and replace existing unsafe substances and processes. This will reduce energy and material costs.

The importance of green chemistry and green technologies was appreciated in 2005, when the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "For contributions to the development of the method of metathesis in organic synthesis" was awarded to Robert Grubbs from the California Institute of Technology (USA), Richard Schrock from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and Yves Chauvin of the Petroleum Institute (France). Metathesis means such a "switching" of a pair of chemical bonds, whereby atoms are rearranged, that is, the carbon skeleton of one or two molecules changes.


There are no international green building rules. Each solves the problem of saving resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its own way. National Geographic magazine has collected ten striking examples of this (3 examples below):

1) Singapore.

Singapore has the unique Gardens by the Bay, which covers an area of ​​one million m². The complex was created not only for beauty and relaxation, but also to suppress the effect of local overheating.

The central place is occupied by the glass atrium, where there are about 220 thousand types of vegetation (80% of the world's plant species , according to the assurances of the National Parks Council of Singapore).

Outside is a grove of 18 "supertrees" - vertical gardens up to 50 meters high, which collect rainwater, filter exhaust gases and recycle solar energy, lighting up at night.

Local overheating occurs in cities because pavements, asphalt and concrete absorb heat. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the average annual temperature in millionaires is about 3°C ​​higher than in neighboring rural areas. The effect reaches its peak in the hottest days of summer due to the widespread use of air conditioning.

The importance of vegetation in urbanized zones goes beyond cooling and shade. Urban greenery helps improve air and water quality through natural filtration mechanisms. For example, recent research has shown that grass, ivy, and other plants (not just trees) can reduce nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in the air by as much as 40% and 60%, respectively.

2) New York

The science barge, located on the Hudson River in New York, is both a classroom and a greenhouse. Powered by solar energy A wind and biofuel barge, built in 2007, has zero greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetables are grown hydroponically, plants get all the nutrients they need from water: good soil (and soil in general) is not easy to find in urban areas. Rainwater and purified river water are used for irrigation, pesticides are prohibited. New York Sun Works designed the barge as a prototype for a self-contained rooftop garden.

The first ecological village in Great Britain appeared in London in 2002. The BedZED complex consists of hundreds of houses and office visits. Rooftop gardens, recycled building materials, efficient thermal insulation, faster waste recycling, a very short distance between home and work - all this reduced the carbon footprint of the settlement by half compared to a conventional city.

International Council on Nanotechnology

In 2004, enthusiasts founded an international organization - the International Council for Nanotechnology (ICON) - which collects and distributes all available information on nanotechnology. Members of this organization try to assess the advantages and disadvantages of nanotechnology (for example, environmental risks) and disseminate information about it.

2.2.4 Chemical nanotechnological solution to the problem.

Self-cleaning surface

Such a surface is called nanograss, it is a set of parallel nanowires (nanorods) of the same length, located at an equal distance from each other.

The self-cleaning of the hairy surface from dirt particles is called the "lotus effect".


Self-cleaning surfaces and coatings

Molecular compounds of allotropic forms of carbon.

Molecular compounds of allotropic forms of carbon in the form of closed polyhedra. A fullerene molecule consists of 60 carbon atoms. The diameter of C60 is about 1 nm.


Fire-resistant paints;

artificial diamonds;

New drugs;


Titanium oxide

Titanium oxide has a strong catalytic activity. In the presence of ultraviolet radiation, it decomposes water molecules into free radicals.


Purification of water, air, various surfaces from organic compounds;

Self-cleaning glasses

3. Conclusion.

I had an idea how to build a purification plant that would purify the air around the world.

For example, I will give buildings that will be built in the center, next to polluters and on the outskirts of cities, in which special condensers will be installed and a large number of plants will be grown that will purify the air.

Treatment plant

Treatment plant generator

Primitive generator example and process:

Description of the operation of the generator in the treatment plant.

When a direct current is switched on in the water, a reaction occurs:

Distribution of treatment plants

It is possible that some of the new materials could pose a risk to producers and consumers, as well as to society and the environment. Therefore, scientists strive to study as thoroughly and comprehensively as possible the potential risks associated with new nanotechnology in order to ensure the safety of their use.

The development of nanotechnology continues and it is quite possible that humanity will