Nanotechnologies, Hazards and Resource Efficiency

A Three-Tiered Approach to Assessing the Implications of Nanotechnology and Influencing its Development

  • Michael Steinfeldt
  • Arnim von Gleich
  • Ulrich Petschow
  • Rüdiger Haum

About this book

Introduction

Nanotechnology is frequently described as an enabling technology and 1 fundamental innovation, i.e. it is expected to lead to numerous innovative developments in the most diverse fields of technology and areas of app- cation in society and the marketplace. The technology, it is believed, has the potential for far-reaching changes that will eventually affect all areas of life. Such changes will doubtlessly have strong repercussions for society and the environment and bring with them not only the desired and intended effects such as innovations in the form of improvements to products, pr- esses and materials; economic growth; new jobs for skilled workers; relief for the environment; and further steps toward sustainable business, but also unexpected and undesirable side effects and consequences. With respect to the time spans in which nanotechnology’s full potential 2 will presumably unfold, M. C. Roco (2002:5) identified the following stages or generations for industrial prototypes and their commercial expl- tation: Past and present: The “coincidental” use of nanotechnology. Carbon black, for example, has been in use for centuries; more specific, isolated applications (catalysts, composites, etc.) have been in use since the early nineties. First generation: Passive nanostructures (ca. 2001). Application p- ticularly in the areas of coatings, nanoparticles, bulk materials (nan- tructured metals, polymers, and ceramics). Second generation: Active nanostructures (ca. 2005). Fields of appli- tion: particularly in transistors, reinforcing agents, adaptive structures, etc.

Keywords

Nanotechnologie Policy ecological evaluation environmental effects nanotechnology sustainability technology assessment

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Steinfeldt
    • 1
  • Arnim von Gleich
    • 1
  • Ulrich Petschow
    • 2
  • Rüdiger Haum
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty Production Engineering FG 10 Technological Design and DevelopmentUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Ecological Economy ResearchBerlinGermany
  3. 3.SPRU-Science and Technology Policy ResearchUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-73815-2
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Chemistry and Materials Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-73882-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-540-73815-2
  • About this book