• Nanomaterials knowledge base expanded
• OECD receives results
• Contribution made to standardization of international testing methods
The NanoCare Project has gained new knowledge about the effects of nanomaterials on health and on the environment. Dr. Peter Nagler, head of Innovation Management for Evonik’s Chemistry Business Area, said that the project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, would immensely help create a broad basis for safe and responsible nanotechnology development. “From Evonik’s perspective, NanoCare is a success,” he said during the closing ceremony for NanoCare in Berlin today. The objective of NanoCare, launched three years ago, is to gain more knowledge about the impact of industrially manufactured nanomaterials on health. Fifteen companies, universities, and research facilities participated in and contributed their expertise to the project.
Evonik Industries has, from the beginning, played a vital role in shaping the content and key areas of the NanoCare Project. The company provided NanoCare its highly researched comparative materials titanium oxide and carbon black, as well as new nanomaterials such as zirconium oxide, cerium oxide, mixed oxides, and various innovative surface-modified particles. Evonik’s analytical services center, AQura, provided NanoCare with its expertise in the chemical-physical characterization of particles and in measuring nanoparticles in the workplace. In addition, Evonik opened its factory gates to independent specialists who wanted to take measurements in the workplace.
“The results obtained by NanoCare so far indicate that no additional safety measures are required for the newly researched materials, compared to the already highly researched comparative materials, for which a broader database exists.” NanoCare has significantly broadened knowledge about evaluating nanomaterials. In addition, methods were developed to measure nanoparticles in the workplace. The project helps standardize international testing in various areas. For example, NanoCare provides its data to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to improve internationally recognized test strategies.
New technologies such as nanotechnology are indispensible to Evonik in its search for solutions to urgent future challenges. Thus, they also represent a pillar of the Group’s innovation strategy. An example of an innovation at Evonik that is useful to people and to the environment is SEPARION®, a flexible, ceramic membrane. The development and manufacture of this product owes its success to nanotechnology. SEPARION® makes lithium ion battery cells safer and more efficient in larger applications, contributing to the ongoing development of fuel-efficient hybrids and electric vehicles. Adhesives for manufacturing automobiles are another example: They bond materials such as metal and plastic. Expensive hot presses and time-consuming industrial oven processes for curing adhesives are, to some extent, no longer necessary, thanks to MagSilica®, which consists of tiny iron oxide particles coated with silicon dioxide. This saves energy and accelerates the production process.
Nagler is convinced that products based on this technology will prevail only if the industry seriously considers the social discourse on opportunity and risk and communicates the new technology and its benefits to a broad public. “We have committed ourselves to applying nanotechnology responsibly, and this is why we’re taking part in NanoCare.”
Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2008 about 41,000 employees generated sales of about €15.9 billion and an operating profit EBITDA of about €2.2 billion.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.