Florida researcher looking to keep nano technology environmentally safe
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Researchers at the University of Florida are looking for ways to minimize environmental hazards associated with a material likely to play an increasingly important role in the manufacture of these goods in the future. Carbon nanotubes are already being used in touch screens and to make smaller, more efficient transistors. And if current research to develop them for use in lithium ion batteries is successful, carbon nanotubes could become important technology for powering future technology. The UF team is investigating the toxicity associated with aqueous solutions of carbon nanotubes that would be used in certain manufacturing processes. Producing the beneficial properties of nanotubes is difficult because the nanotubes tend to clump together. One method calls to mix them with an aqueous solution that acts as a detergent and separates the tangled bundles. Researchers have found that toxicity can be reduced by controlling the ratio of liquid to particulate.