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Global Challenges

A series of lectures on current issues in world politics - every first or second Wednesday of the month

In this series of lectures experts will provide a broad perspective and qualified background information on these global challenges. Each first or second Wednesday of the month a new present-day issue takes center stage in this series.
This series is a co-production of Studium Generale and the Research Centre of Leiden University College.

Nanomaterials can play a significant role in the transition towards sustainability. Next generation photovoltaic technologies can use nanomaterials to increase their solar cell efficiency. The use, however, of nanomaterials can cause environmental and human health impacts. Humans can be exposed to nanomaterials either directly or through the food chain. Furthermore, the production processes of nanomaterials are currently very energy intensive, shifting the environmental impact “up-stream” in the supply chain – i.e. the production processes of electricity –. Thus, to assess the environmental impact of nanomaterials we need to take a holistic approach. We can look into the impact of the use of nanomaterials throughout the life cycle of a nano-based product/technology; the impact of the extraction and processing of raw materials, the manufacturing, operation and end-of-life treatment of the new technology, as well as the energy production impact in all these life cycle stages. In this lecture, I will present how we can use life cycle assessment to guide the sustainable development of emerging technologies and address the challenges related to nanomaterials. I will present the state-of-the-art research for the case of the emerging nanowire-based solar cells and the steps towards a successful future commercialization of the technology, as well as the economic, environmental and social relevance.


Georgios Pallas, PhD candidate, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, working at the NanoTandem EU Horizon2020 project

Time and Venue

Wednesday April 10
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Leiden University College
Anna van Buerenplein 301
The Hague

All welcome!
Entrance is free.
Limited seats available – please register in advance ! 

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