Nano Insulation Materials: Synthesis and Life Cycle Assessment
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProcedia CIRP. 2014, 15 490-495. 10.1016/j.procir.2014.06.041
The application of manufactured nanomaterials provides not only advantages resulting from their unique properties, but also disadvantages derived from the possible high energy use and CO2 burden related to their manufacture, operation, and disposal. It is therefore important to evaluate the trade-offs of process economics with the associated environmental impacts in order to strengthen the existing advantages while counteracting disadvantages of nanomaterials. This is of particular importance at the early stage of the development, where different synthetic approaches with different energy and environmental impacts may be employed. We discuss here the importance of life cycle assessment (LCA) on the synthesis of nano insulation materials (NIMs) consisting of hollow silica nanospheres (HSNSs). The results indicate that the use of recyclable and environmentally friendly raw materials can improve greatly the process environmental footprints. New synthetic procedures are developed accordingly for HSNS NIMs with improved environmental features as well as thermal insulation performance.