Article courtesy of Vinod Nair | May 20, 2014 | Oman Daily Observer | Shared as educational material
Professor Sherif A el Safty, a leading Japan-based scientist, gave a presentation in which he highlighted the potential of nanotechnology in areas such as environment pollution, monitoring, transportation, security, defence, space missions, energy, oil and gas refining, agriculture and medicine. The workshop, organised by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), focused on the use of nanotechnology in the Sultanate, with special emphasis on encouraging the Omani society to build and prepare national cadres specialised in technical areas of this technology. “The establishment of national economic projects in the fields of nanotechnology will contribute to sustainable development in the sultanate, especially in the sectors of oil and gas, renewable energy and water management,” he said.
Making a special case for the implementation of nanotechnology in the areas of water treatment, Professor Safty said that drinking water can be treated of heavy metals and pathogens using nanotechnology. “Around 80 per cent of all diseases and around 1.8mn deaths globally happen due to water contamination. Around 2.6bn people or 40 per cent of the world population reside in communities that lack an efficient system to separate sewage and drinking water. Professor Safty is a professor of nanoscience and nanoengineering at Graduate School for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan. He is also the chief researcher at National Institute for Material Science, Japan.
Professor Safty had successfully designed simple and reliable non-captor technology to purify water and wastewater from radioactive elements that was caused by the leakage from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor following the earthquake in March 2011. He was nominated for Nobel Prize in chemistry after developing a substance to remove radioactive material from water at Fukushima plants. “From a more fundamental perspective, it would be highly attractive to have a material on which to support or create a new technology. By the end of the 20th century, scientists around the world dedicated their efforts to come up with strategies to synthesise materials, which had more than a firm foothold in different fields,” he said. The workshop was inaugurated by Said bin Saleh al Kiyoumi, OCCI Chairman.