This year's SNO conference sessions represent a hybrid of topics on selected "systems" that contribute to sustainability and more traditional topics. Sessions will be populated with talks on applications, effects and implications, analytical methods, and lifecycle aspects of nanomaterials within each system. The aims are to identity where nanomaterials and nanotechnology can improve the sustainability of each system and to foster integration of knowledge between applications and implications within each system. We also aim to encourage papers on the applications of nanomaterials to sustainability. Papers on lifecycle aspects of nanomaterials within each system or across systems are encouraged. New developments in analytical methods and instrumentation are also welcome. Topics from prior conferences will be addressed under the current session topics.

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As always, in all our sessions, we ask how we are helping reach sustainability through nanotechnology:


1. Tribute to Pedro Alvarez
Pedro Alvarez has significantly contributed to eco-responsible nanotechnology through pioneering research on how engineered nanomaterials interact with bacteria, elucidating their mode of action and discerning potential impacts to microbial ecosystem services. He also opened new opportunities for nano-enabled greener disinfection and biofouling control, as well as for enhanced (selective) removal of priority water pollutants. Recently, Alvarez led a multi-university effort to establish a NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), which is developing easy-to-deploy, next-generation modular treatment processes that protect lives and support sustainable development.

2. Food/Agriculture
This session centers on Nanotechnology for food production, pesticide delivery, nutrient delivery, disease suppression, food fortification, and environmental implications.

3. Water
This session focuses on applications of nanotechnology to address water or air contaminants, including applications in water supply, wastewater treatment and industrial air quality control.

4. Fate and Exposure
This session will consider studies addressing nanomaterial release, fate and transport, transformations, and exposure modelling.

5. Nanotoxicology
This session emphasizes the evaluation of the effects (i.e. positive or negative) that advanced nanomaterials have on the environment and human health.

6. Life Cycle
It is important to consider a life-cycle perspective when evaluating the applications of nanotechnology, from raw materials to synthesis, and from product use to end of life. Papers in this session can address the entire life-cycle of particular applications, or the implications in specific life-cycle phases, including recycling.

7. Sensors/Measurement
Papers in this session focus on the need to develop sensors, new instruments, approaches, and/or further refinement of existing tools for characterizing nanomaterials and using nanomaterials as sensors to detect chemicals of interest.

8. Green Synthesis
This session focuses on the synthesis of nanomaterials with lowered energy and fewer polluting by-products and starting materials. Environmentally benign methods for forming in place, incorporating lithography, vacuum coating and spray coating; mechanical synthesis (‘top-down’ method that reduces the size of particles by attrition, for example, ball milling or planetary grinding); gas phase synthesis, such as plasma vaporization, chemical vapor synthesis and laser ablation; and green wet chemistry, the range of techniques that are most applicable for characterization by light scattering techniques. Wet chemistry techniques are fundamentally ‘bottom-up,’ i.e., they start with ions or molecules and build these up into larger structures.  Green chemistry techniques are used here such as use of Non-toxic Solvents (e.g., supercritical CO2, water), Self-assembly, Solid state processes, Bio-inspired nanoscale synthesis, Templating processes (including ambient, room-temperature processes), Molten Salt or Ionic Liquid Synthesis, Microwave technology, Improved synthesis, fewer steps, Photochemical synthesis, Use of renewables, and many more material and energy saving methods.

9. Education/Social aspects
Papers in this session will address nano-education programs and curriculum development.  In addition, societal aspects, such as laws, regulations, economics, and social issues, will be covered.

10. Nanomedicine
This session will accept papers that deal with the use of various types of nanoparticles for use in medicine, particularly to diagnose and treat cancer.