An emerging interdisciplinary knowledge which is inaugurating a new era of contribution to human welfare, nanotechnology is penetrating into commercial products available in global markets in general and the environment industry in particular. Research groups, authorities, organizations, and manufacturers all over the world endeavor to exploit the privileges of cutting-edge nanotechnology to improve a broad spectrum of resource management systems from water purification to environmental protection. Potential applications of nanotechnology in the field include innovation of efficient methods for the remediation of contaminated surface and groundwater, supplement of disinfected drinking water from seawater, generation of affordable irrigation systems, degradation of organic pollutants which are harmful to the environment, removal of volatile organic compounds such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides from air at room temperature, and cleanup of soil and sediment, to name but a few. These application areas originate from such scalable size-dependent properties of nanomaterials as high surface area, enhanced catalytic properties, fast dissolution, and strong sorption. Numerous nanostructured materials are employed in such processes, the most promising of which are carbon nanotubes, fullerene derivatives, silver-cyclodextrin nanocomposites, zeolites, nanofiltration membranes, photocatalytic titanium dioxide, and functionalized silicon oxide nanoparticles in order to remove heavy metals, organic chemicals, biodegradable plant debris, pathogens, particulates, sediments, chemical effluents, charged particles, algae, odor, and dust. Among the diverse range of environment industry nanoproducts introduced to the market, membranes possess the highest production volume, comprising zeolitic and catalytic nanoparticle-coated ceramic membranes, hybrid inorganic-organic nanocomposite membranes, and bio-inspired membranes such as hybrid protein-polymer biomimetic membranes, aligned nanotube membranes, and isoporous block copolymer membranes.
Nano-based products of the environment industry are classified into the following subdivisions:
1. Water and Waterwaste including Water purification plants, reverse osmosis (RO), capacitive deionization systems (CDI), water purifier, water ionizers, mobile hydration systems, filters and membranes, water coolers, water treatment chemicals including polymeric additives, surfactants, and coagulants.
2. Air remediation including air-purifiers, air conditioners, air sensors, catalysts, humidifiers, and dust collector cartridges.
3. Soil remediation including filters and chemicals.
The keywords used to build up the environment industry nanoproducts database are as follows:
Nano + water treatment, water purification, disinfection, desalination, water filtration, aerogel, silica aerogel, carbon aerogel, absorbent, aeroclay, pre-membrane, membrane, ceramic membrane, polymeric membrane, nanofiber membrane, zeolitic membrane, hybrid membrane, nanocomposite membrane, bio-inspired membranes, filter, capacitive deionization, water CDI, reverse osmosis, water RO, hydration system, nanocavitation, ozonation, water treatment additives, water treatment surfactant, water treatment coagulant, water cooler, soil remediation, air-purifiers, air conditioners, air sensors, catalysts, humidifiers, and dust collector cartridges.