- Written by Anna Strom
The European Union’s executive arm has defined “nanomaterial” as a material
composed of particles that have “internal surface structure in the range betwee n 1
and 100 billionth of a metre (nm), such as computer chips”, in a recommendation published online 18 October.
This has relevance to Bio4Energy since scientists on its Pretreatment and Fractionation Platform conduct research to design new materials using nanotechnology. Moreover researchers on the B4E Catalysis and Separation Platform have used nano-based materials extracted from metals to design membranes or catalysts, for instance to render the production of hydrogen from renewable raw materials more efficient per unit of output. (The latter materials might be considered nano-based composite or porous materials, however.)
The definition, adopted as part of a European Commission recommendation and based on advice from an EU executive’s scientific committees, is not binding per se, but will be enforced as a common standard across specific legislation that the Commission might propose or amend, according to a memo provided to journalists. More specifically, the definition will “primarily be used to identify materials for which special provision (concerning for example risk assessment or ingredient labeling) might apply”.