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Nanotech Can Increase Energy Production Efficiency: Bangalore Nano Print E-mail
Written by James   
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Bangalore: "Energy demands are growing rapidly globally. Today, about 80% of global energy needs are met by fossil fuels and they will last only for few more decades. So it is the need of the hour to find alternative sources of energy. Many application areas of nanotechnology can benefit energy sector, whether it is nano optimized fuel cells or efficient solar cells," said Puneet Mehrotra, Director, Nano Science & Technology Consortium at the Energy session on Day two of 3rd Bangalore Nano

"In energy storage, reducing transmission losses, and reducing consumption, nanotechnology can play a vital role. Cost reduction in the production of renewable energies is another thrust area for nano technology," he said.

As the fossil fuels will exhaust by 2050, the world needs to look at alternative energy sources and nanotechnology can increase the efficiencies of several stages of value chains in the production of energy from wind, gases, solar cells etc. We have 60,000 MW wind power potential in India, but we are not using even 12,000 MW because of several issues from production to storing.

Delivering the lead talk, Mr. Ingo Hollein, Department of new materials, Nanotechnology, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, said, “Nanotechnology is being used in the hi-tech- strategy of Germany in many fields including energy. Miniaturization, functionalisation, and complexation combined together from physics, biology and chemistry has given birth to nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology can add value from energy production to energy utilization. German government has initiated the following 5 innovation alliances based on nanotechnology. They are: 1. NanoLux (illumination), 2. Organic light emitting diodes (OLED), 3. Organic photovoltaics (OPV), 4. Lithium ion battery, 5. Carbon Nano Tubes. Nano is a cross-cutting technology, which can address many global issues.

Dr. Arjun Bhattacharya, Head, Water R&D, GE John F Welch Technology Center, said, “Nanotechnology comes handy in desalinating water. For millions of years, nature is pushing pure water into sea. Now we need to do just the reverse to provide water to over two billion people who do not have access to clean water. Membrane processes enhanced by nanotechnology can desalinate water more effectively. Nano technology can smothen the membrane surfaces and repel dirt and nano silver particles can kill the harmful organisms in the water.”

Dr. Amit Biswas, Head, Technology Services & emerging Technologies, Research Technology Group, Reliance Industries Ltd. , said, “From the perspective of Reliance, nano-enabled energy technologies can change the operations of energy sector. As of now, India is lagging behind in nanotechnology. Nanotech enabled energy value chain can bring in improvements in many areas of daily lives of people. As an energy and petroproducts company, RIL is willing to grow by bringing social change in India. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel cells can be the portable power houses of the future. RIL is building a big research center in Mumbai and it will be running by 2012. It also focuses on nanotechnology as one of the major technologies.

Mr. Ketan Gandhi – Founder President & CEO, KgGuruji Consulting and Services, said, “Nano technology can harness more wind power. Energy tops the list of crisis for next 50 years. 15,00,000 MW production of wind power is possible by 2020. In the last 35 years, the globe has installed only 1,75,000 MW. Technology has been evolved, but installation is happening more off shore where maintainance cost is very high. In summer, though our wind mills run at a high capacity, the storage constraints are forcing to stop running them at full capacities.”

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