Environmentalists in their various forms have been around for many years. They promote sustainable living, driving hybrid vehicles and reducing our impact on the environment in a variety of ways. The environmental message is one that has fast been coming to the forefront of conversations by government officials and those lawmakers enacting laws to target reducing carbon emission and increasing energy efficiency.
A new type of environmentalist is emerging in the 21st century and they call themselves “NanoPioneers.”
NanoPioneers are those who are using nanotechnology based products as a way of reducing their impact on the environment and reducing their energy use in a variety of ways. The company who coined the term to describe their customers is Industrial Nanotech, Inc. who created a patented line of residential, commercial and industrial thermal insulation coatings called Nansulate® which are revolutionizing the way that the world insulates homes, buildings, and equipment like tanks and steam pipes.(www.nansulate.com)
Nanotechnology simply refers to manipulation of materials at the nano-scale level, which is just below the micro level. By manipulating materials at the nano level new performance characteristics emerge, and new materials are able to be created with less waste.
NanoPioneers who are using this technology to reduce their energy use come from all walks of life. Evelyne Tinkl, a homeowner in Mohnton, Pennsylvania coated the interior walls of her 80 year old house with the insulation coating, and reduced her heating expenses by 20% last year, while also keeping her thermostat a bit higher for a more comfortable winter. In Davenport, Iowa a civil engineer insulated his home’s attic, wood exterior doors and skylights with the coating and charted a savings of 40% during the summer months. These both illustrate the typically reported range of energy savings between 20%-40%. A Berkeley, California homeowner, Robin Wright, decided to try coating vertical blinds that covered two large single paned windows in her bedroom and was able to reduce the heat gain during the summer, which lowered cooling costs.
From Florida to Washington state, NanoPioneers are a growing segment who are finding that new technology can hold the key to saving money while also being environmentally friendly.
Companies are also being added to the NanoPioneer ranks, like Cornwell Quality Tools in Mogadore, Ohio who coated their factory windows with Nansulate® Transcluent GP coating as part of a facility energy efficiency project. Their complete project saved them $30,000 in energy costs over the first four months. Another pioneering company, Henateks, who is a textile manufacturer for Nike and Adidas, among others, used the nanotechnology based coatings throughout their facility and reduced their energy costs by 20% in 2008. Which equated to a dollar savings of over $460,000.
As GREEN and SUSTAINABLE move from buzzwords into the every day lexicon of governments and companies around the world, nanotechnology is fast joining the mix as the science that is bringing about new sustainable solutions. Environmentalists must now move over for the new eco-warrior on the block, which is the NanoPioneer.