Today we will discuss nano gold and its potential to save the world. I wrote parts of this blog a year ago before many of you were subscribers to Thermo Thursday, but the topic remains interesting and pertinant.
Nano materials are being investigated for unique properties and gold is considered to be one of the most promising nano materials. Nano comes from nanometer or one billionth of a meter. Gold is not the same color when it is in nano form and it is not even a metal but rather a semiconductor in nano form http://www3.lehigh.edu/engineering/news/kielyworkingwithgold.asp Old Robin Williams who was Mork from Ork never realized how important his utterance on Nano Nano would become.
A very simple use of nano gold is as an oxidation catalyst to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Gas masks for fire fighters will be made with nano gold and the Taiwanese intend to market such gas masks soon.
Taiwan ITRI expects substantial patent income from nano-gold catalyst Claire Sung, Taipei; Esther Lam, DigiTimes.com [Tuesday 17 April 2007]
After successfully applying for patents for its self-develop nano-gold catalyst technologies in Taiwan and the US, the Taiwan government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) anticipates to generate hundreds of millions of US dollars in sales of commercial applications of the technology.
As gold can transform carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) when it is in the form of nano-particles, the ITRI-developed nano-gold catalyst can be used in CO filtering applications such as gas masks. Jassy Wang, deputy general director at ITRI's material and chemical research laboratories, highlighted that the cost of ITRI's nano-gold catalyst is only one fifth of conventional materials.
ITRI has inked a 10-year licensing agreement with Taiwan-based Novax Material & Technology for nano-gold catalyst based device production and it expects patent income from the partnership could reach a minimum of NT$10 million. Novax said it will first use the material in gas mask production and anticipates that the derived business potential is worth about US$100 million.
Nano gold can be conjugated with a monoclonal antibody to deliver the nano gold to a specific target area of the body. Using near infrared light sources that will not do harm to the rest of the body these nano gold particles can be heated and the targeted cells can be thermally ablated. Altering the shape of the nano gold to cylindrical nanorods also improves the efficacy of the treatment. The Mayo Clinic reports that nano gold will be used in cancer treatment http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/dev_lab/nanogold.cfm
Work at UCSF and the Georgia Institute of technology has focused on shaping the nano gold more effectively for improved cancer imaging and treatment. http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=2039
Nano gold will also find use in treating Alzheimer’s disease http://www.physorg.com/news10099.html
I am glad to see the AWEA (Americans without electric appliances) has reported that the great state of Iowa leads the nation in the rate of adoption of wind power for electricity generation. I can attest to how windy the metropolis of Ames was, while I was mastering thermodynamics at one of the world’s leading chemical and nuclear engineering departments. Don’t laugh George Washington Carver is a fellow alumnus of the Iowa State University of Science and Technology.
Iowa Leads the Nation with 5.5% Wind Power, Says AWEA
Wind power provides 5.5% of the electricity generated in Iowa, making it the leading state for wind power generation on a percentage basis, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). AWEA's annual ranking of wind power leadership, released last week, continues to show Texas leading the states in terms of both total installed wind power capacity and the amount of new wind power capacity that was installed last year. In fact, the Sweetwater, Texas, wind plant more than doubled in capacity to 585 megawatts, pushing it from fifth to second place in the size rankings, while the state's Buffalo Gap wind facility expanded to 353 megawatts, placing it in fifth place for size. The recently completed 364-megawatt Capricorn Ridge wind facility, also in Texas, landed in fourth place, while last year's 401-megawatt Peetz Table Wind Energy Center in Colorado is the only non-Texas wind plant in the top five. See the AWEA press release and report (PDF 312 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
Given the subprime crisis and high oil prices I thought that we would end today’s blog with a quote of the day rather than the word of the day. My hero Albert Einstein preferred the study of thermo over accounting for the following reason “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” This should have been the motto of the auditors and the management at Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns as well as the Federal Reserve.