Emerging Nanomaterials in Energy and Environmental Science: An Overview

  • P. ThangaduraiEmail author
  • S. Joicy
  • Rosalin Beura
  • J. Santhosh Kumar
  • K. Chitrarasu
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 23)


Materials play a huge role in the development of human lifestyle at all ages. By the emergence of nanomaterials, a new field of science and technology was born, known as “nanoscience and nanotechnology.” This is mainly because of the peculiar characteristics of the nanomaterials that are applied in modern science and technology. Nowadays there are mainly two major global threats, namely, (i) energy and (ii) environment cleanliness. Most of the energy used these days are from fossil fuels, and this energy is running out, and therefore there is a huge hunt for new sources of energy; mostly they are renewable energy and that should be environment-friendly. Energy generation and storage are big challenges and can be done via solar cells, fuel cells, and batteries. The next issue of environmental pollution is mainly from the enormously developing industries. Most of these industries discharge effluents (mainly from textile and tanning industries) into the mainstream water bodies, leading to a polluted water for supply. This particular issue, depending on the type of chemicals/dyes/organics that it contains, is very harmful to the living things, including human beings. The level of danger can go to the extent of inducing cancer. These effluents have to be treated properly and converted into harmless products (such as water, CO2, etc.) before letting them into water. Process like advanced oxidation process assisted by photocatalyst can be a good solution for cleaning the industrial wastes. Ability of the photocatalyst with appropriate characteristics is very crucial for this particular application. Another category of threat to environment is the corrosion caused by the electrochemical reactions when the metal/structure interacts with their surroundings. What is more importantly required to meet out the energy and environment issues is to develop better performing materials that can improve the working efficiency of solar cells, batteries, and photocatalysts for photocatalysis. Boon for this is the blooming of “nanomaterials” that come with improved properties compared to their bulk counterpart. Development of nanomaterials is enormous in all these fields of applications. In this aspect, this chapter describes the applications of nanomaterials in the fields of energy (solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells) and environment issues (gas sensing, photocatalysts in photocatalysis, and corrosion). The emergence of these nanomaterials for these applications is discussed in this chapter.


Nanomaterials Energy Solar cells Batteries Fuel cells Gas sensors Photocatalysis Corrosion Environment 



The DST-SERB (EMR/2016/005795), India, and UGC-DAE-CSR, India (CSR-KN/CRS-89/2016-17/1130), are acknowledged for the research grants.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Thangadurai
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Joicy
    • 1
  • Rosalin Beura
    • 1
  • J. Santhosh Kumar
    • 1
  • K. Chitrarasu
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Nanoscience and TechnologyPondicherry UniversityKalapetIndia

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