chapter  14
86 Pages

ENVIRONMENTAL NANOTECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology is expected to impact all industrial sectors-from aerospace to energy and from construction to medicine. Nanotechnology’s impact on the environment is also expected to be signifi cant-its vector remains to be determined. There is a need for sensors that have better detection limits, versatility, and durability. For example, since 1992, there are over two million storage tanks

under surveillance by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sequester toxic and/or volatile materials-and what of storage tanks that are not included in the monitor registry [1,2]? With an adequate arsenal of micro-and nanosensors, we should be able to detect low-level leaks from unregistered tanks and determine their source before any serious environmental damage ensues.