Nano Archive

An examination of silver nanoparticles in socks using screening-level life cycle assessment

Meyer, David E. and Curran, Mary Ann and Gonzalez, Michael A. (2011) An examination of silver nanoparticles in socks using screening-level life cycle assessment. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 13 (1). pp. 147-156.


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Screening-level life cycle assessment (LCA) can provide a quick tool to identify the life cycle hot spots and focus research efforts to help to minimize the burdens of a technology while maximizing its benefits. The use of nanoscale silver in consumer products has exploded in popularity. Although its use is considered beneficial because of antimicrobial effects, some attention must be given to the potential environmental impacts it could impart on the life cycle of these nanoproducts as production demands escalate. This work examines the environmental impact of including silver nanoparticles in commercially available socks using screening-level LCA. Initial results suggest washing during the use phase contributes substantially more than the manufacturing phase to the product life cycle impacts. Comparison of nanoparticles prepared by either chemical reduction, liquid flame spray (LFS), or plasma arc demonstrate how the type of manufacturing process used for the nanoscale silver can change the resulting life cycle impact of the sock product. The magnitude of this impact will depend on the type of process used to manufacture the nanoscale silver, with LFS having the most impact because of the need for large quantities of hydrogen and oxygen. Although the increased impacts for a single nanoproduct may be relatively small, the added environmental load can actually be a significant quantity when considered at the regional or global production level.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Physical Science > Nanophysics
Physical Science > Nano objects
Material Science > Nanochemistry
Material Science > Nanostructured materials
Divisions:Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Physics
Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Chemistry
ID Code:10574
Deposited By:JNCASR
Deposited On:28 Feb 2011 06:34
Last Modified:28 Feb 2011 06:34

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