A New Zealand company is taking a major leap forward in commercializing nanotechnologyRevolution Fibres Ltd plans on making nano-fabrics from the collagen in discarded fish skins. (New Zealand is an island nation, after all.) The uber-thin fibers are exceptionally strong and provide extra filtration capabilities due to their nano-properties, and Revolution plans to use them in everything from clothing to filtration systems, structural reinforcement, electronics, and packaging.

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The company is using a TechNZ investment grant to build a commercial-scale nano-loom to create the fabrics. Its first product will be a new type of biodegradable air filter mat for the Kiwi ventilation company HRV.

The company’s technical director, Iain Hosie, says, “It is a good use of something that would normally be chucked away. What is good about biomaterials is it means you stay away from plastic and petrochemical-derived products.”

Avoiding petro-plastics is a good thing, but the environmental cost-benefit analysis on nanotechnology is far from complete. The tiny particles and fibers — a billionth of a meter wide — can penetrate human cells and could potentially create entirely new issues for water filtration.

+ Revolution Fibres

Via Business Scoop