About the sector - EUON
Energy - Alternatives - About The Sector
With the increasing pollution and costs of fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy have been actively explored. Nanotechnology can be applied to facilitate the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar energy, hydrogen production, geothermal energy and biofuels. Hydrogen and solar energy are discussed as separate sub-sectors.
Wind energy is a promising source of energy, which is clean and efficient and exists everywhere on earth, although in different densities. Over the years, wind energy has been receiving more attention worldwide. Since 2009 the world wind power capacity has increased by approximately 40GW, reaching 158 GW in 20181. Nanomaterials can also be utilized to develop lighter and more rugged rotor blades for wind and tidal power plants. In the field of wind energy, the properties of nanomaterials allow not only to increase the durability and performance of wind turbines but also to reduce the cost of energy generation2.
Another promising field of nanotechnology application refers to geothermal energy sources. Geothermal energy is widely used for energy generation (e.g., heating and cooling) in bathing, swimming, space heating, fish farming, greenhouses, etc. With 50% of the energy used from geothermal sources, Iceland is the instance of a nation with the most significant use of such alternative energy sources3. Nanotechnology solutions are applied in geothermal heat pumps, heat exchangers, etc. Recent developments demonstrated that the use of nanoparticles (e.g., CuO, TiO2, Al2O3, Ag suspended in water) can increase heat transfer efficiency4.
Biofuels (e.g., biodiesel, bioethanol, biohydrogen, and biogas) are used as an alternative to traditional fuels and are generated from plants and animals. Due to the unique physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, they are used as catalysts in the process of biofuel production5.
1 Qasim, A. Y., Al-Douri, Y., and Alani, O. Y. (2022). Wind energy. In Renewable Energy: Analysis, Resources, Applications, Management, and Policy. Edited by Y. Al-Douri. AIP Publishing, Melville, New York, pp. 6-1–6-24.
2 Rathore, N., Yettou, F., & Gama, A. (2021, October). Improvement in wind energy sector using nanotechnology. In 2020 6th International Symposium on New and Renewable Energy (SIENR) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
3 Sardar, S., Chakraborty, S., and Bandyopadhyay, A. (2022). Hydro- and geothermal energy. In Renewable Energy: Analysis, Resources, Applications, Management, and Policy. Edited by Y. Al-Douri. AIP Publishing, Melville, New York, pp. 9-1–9-20.
4 Soltani, M., Kashkooli, F. M., Fini, M. A., Gharapetian, D., Nathwani, J., & Dusseault, M. B. (2022). A review of nanotechnology fluid applications in geothermal energy systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 167, 112729.
5 Cavalcante, F. T. T., Silva Moreira, K. D., Lima, P. J. M., Castro Monteiro, R. R. D., Pinheiro, B. B., Neto, C. A. C. G., ... & Santos, J. C. S. D. (2021). Nanotechnology Systems for Biofuels Production. Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, 445-471.