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Nano in transport

Nano on the move

The main uses of nano in transport are to provide lighter and stronger materials for construction and to provide more efficient fuels.


An interesting application is the use of nanoparticles which are added to diesel fuel for vehicles. The nanoparticles help the fuel burn better in the engine and the result is that you get more miles per gallon, and, because the fuel is burning more efficiently, there is less effluent coming out of the exhaust pipe. In addition the engine does not need servicing as often because the engine stays cleaner.

Nanomaterials are also increasingly being used to make cars lighter and stronger, so using less fuel and fewer metals.


Nano is mainly used in aviation to make airplanes much lighter and stronger, by creating new materials which can replace the heavier parts that are used more commonly.

While this may sound inconsequential, it is really important to the airline industry. If a composite made out of nanoparticles can be just as strong as a metal alloy but save 10- 15% in weight, the fuel savings can be enormous.

Nanotechnologies may not only lighten the aircraft to produce fuel savings, but also do so by adding nanoparticles of aluminum to the fuel of a conventional jet, significantly increasing its fuel mileage.


Similarly the lightness of nanomaterials is proving useful for the shipping industry, to provide stronger lighter hulls. See also the Nano Coatings section to find out about the ‘barnacle busting coatings’ which are helping navies and shipping companies across the world.

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