Nanotechnology developed at the University of Newcastle could be used to make clean fuel, kill cancer and solve global warming.
So says Professor Ajayan Vinu, who has been dubbed Australias leading nanotechnologist.
Professor Vinu will give a free public talk on nanotechnology at Newcastle Conservatorium on Thursday.
He said nanotechnology that he discovered could be used to capture CO2 [carbon dioxide] and convert it into clean fuel.
It can clean the environment and generate energy at the same time, he said.
Professor Vinu and his team, from the universitys School of Engineering, are now working on a dream device.
It is a device that can run any vehicle and provide energy without the need for fossil fuels, he said.
With this device, vehicles could be run on water, sunlight and CO2.
You wont have to worry about fossil fuels or the emission of CO2, he said.
Professor Vinu is director of the universitys Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials.
He discovered "nanoporous carbon nitride" in his lab.
Many people started to work on this topic since we discovered this material. Its quite fascinating material, he said.
It has a unique capability to capture CO2 and, with the help of sunlight and water, convert it to clean fuel.
Professor Vinu and his team are working to couple this technology with solar cells and battery technology.
The aim is to develop the next generation of energy storage and conversion.
Weve developed the battery technology. Now we are in the process of integrating technologies to design our dream device.
Professor Vinus centre is also working to use nanotechnology to create new drugs for cancer treatment.
The nano-material can hold different kinds of drugs, he said.
For example, his team is working on a drug that combines chemotherapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer.
Its a personalised and targeted form of medical technology that aims to efficiently and effectively treat cancer while reducing side effects.
First, this nano-material is capable of delivering chemo drugs to kill cancer cells, he said.
Then, the immuno-drug inside the nano-material would be slowly released into the cells as a secondary form of treatment to further ensure the cancer is eliminated.
His team is also using nanotechnology to develop a sodium-ion battery for clean energy.
We have several missions in place, he said.
The professor, who grew up in a small village in India, lives by this motto: Save the world and help the people.
He is driven by a personal philosophy to give back and help others.
His talk starts at 6pm.
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