PARTNERS AND SPEAKERS 2009
Federal Ministry of Education and Research AGeNT-D
Nokia Technology Academy Foundation
The Millennium Technology Prize Chinano
Carl Zeiss Shell International Exploration and Production
Daimler BASF - The Chemical Company
Bayer Material Science Lux Research
Saudi Aramco Bax & Willems Consulting Venturing
Thermo Fisher Scientific Nanotechnologie
Hessen-Nanotech NMN
ENNaB INM
CC NanoChem Upob
INCH CeNTech GmbH
NanOP NanoBioNet
NanoMat
GOLD MEDIA PARTNER 2009
MATCHMAKING PARTNER 2009
Technology Review Enterprise Europe Network
2009 GLOBAL PARTNER
2009 OFFICIAL AIRLINE
nano tech 2010 Lufthansa – German Airlines
2009 CO-ORGANISER
LEAD ORGANISER
TU Berlin Spinverse Consulting


Water

Nanotechnology and the global challenge of access to clean water

This targeted workshop aims to increase awareness and promote dialogue, networking, coordinated policy initiatives and fact-finding related to the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology to contribute to the purification of water.
Purified, clean, water is rapidly becoming a scarce resource for socio-economic developments globally. Megatrends driving the economics of clean water relate to population growth, increasing demand for energy, pollution, and climate change. Population growth is increasing the demand for water as a major input for agriculture while the energy sector already now is one of the major users of clean water in the developed world. Meanwhile climate change and drought are compounding the problems especially of developing countries. Worldwide 1.2 billion people lack access to sufficient amounts of clean water, 2.6 billion lack adequate sanitation. This combination is the single largest cause of diseases and deaths in the world, accounting for approximately 3.4 million deaths annually.
The scarcity of clean water is essentially an access problem. While over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water most of it is unusable for consumption, especially to meet human needs. Freshwater lakes, rivers, ice and snow, and underground aquifers hold only 2.5% of the world’s water, while saltwater oceans and seas contain the remaining 97.5%. In addition to being relatively scarce, freshwater access is also very unevenly distributed with the least access for the developing world. Meanwhile available freshwater supplies are increasingly threatened due to the contamination of aquifers, from toxic compounds to salts intruding and contaminating these supplies.
The accessibility problems of clean water relate not only to freshwater scarcity but also to the fact that current water purification techniques are relatively expensive, increase stress on watersheds and the environment, and are not readily transferable to the developing world. Further, many existing techniques are very energy-intensive and thereby at odds with the mega-trends identified above. Emerging nanotechnologies, notably in the field of filtration and desalination, catalysts, new materials and sensors, may offer prospects of improving this situation. Analysts, scientists and technologists, as well as watersuppliers are increasingly pointing to the opportunities that nanotechnology hold for the provision of affordable and efficient new water purification techniques that may ease the accessibility problem. However, the development, commercialisation and diffusion of nanotechnology also faces many challenges, some of which might be even more pronounced in the context of water.

Sessions of this Theme

Water posters

Poster abstracts under Water theme

Poster abstracts for this theme will be published soon.

Nanotechnology-enabled water purification

Session chair:
Maggie Momba
Professor, Department of Environmental, Water, and Earth Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology

This targeted workshop aims to increase awareness and promote dialogue, coordinated policy initiatives and fact-finding related to the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology to contribute to the purification of water. This session is organised in partnership with the OECD.

Session 2: Challenges of commercialisation and use of nanotechnology-enabled water purification

Session chair:
Mostafa Analoui
Head of Healthcare and Life Science, The Livingston Group

This targeted workshop aims to increase awareness and promote dialogue, coordinated policy initiatives and fact-finding related to the opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology to contribute to the purification of water. This session is organised in partnership with the OECD.