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Nanotechnology is moving from development to commercialization at a rapid rate, so too are calls for a more comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts associated with various nanomanufacturing processes. The integration of carbon nanotubes (CNT) into applications such as electronics, sensors, interconnects, low-mass/high- strength structures, and EMI shielding is a promising venture. This is because of their unique electronic semiconducting properties and high thermal conductivity, tensile strength, and elastic modulus. However, as with any new emerging technology, identifying its environmental impact is critical to its success. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to analyze the environmental footprint of nanomanufacturing processes involving CNTs while still in the developmental phase.
Date of Conference: 19-22 May 2008