In spite of the many potential benefits and applications of nanoparticles, concerns have been raised regarding their production, use, and ultimate fate due to poor process yields and uncertain health and environmental impacts. Production of commercial nanoparticles is growing as they find increasing use in industrial and consumer products. Nickel nanoparticles (NiNPs) have shown promise as a single element braze material, but the energy and material efficiencies of NiNP production remain uncertain. In this study, life cycle assessment (LCA) is employed to compare three different NiNP synthesis methods in terms of environmental impact. The study reveals challenges in using LCA to assess nanomanufacturing processes. Sensitivity analysis is performed across several process parameters to demonstrate an approach for addressing data uncertainties. The relative performance of the NiNP synthesis processes are discussed, and potential environmental implications for other NiNP synthesis processes are introduced. Policy change may be necessary to provide adequate transparency in assessing nanotechnologies for engineering applications.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.