It’s been a long time but last August I stumbled across a number of stories about Iran’s nanotechnology efforts.
First up, there’s an August 29, 2021 news item in Tehran Times,
As of the start of a national plan to develop the nanotechnology sector 15 years ago, more than 5,283 billion rials (about $125.7 million [US?] at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials) has been allocated to nanotechnology projects, IRNA [Islamic Republic News Agency] reported on Saturday [August 28, 2021].
Nanotechnology’s trend of development is growing in Iran, as the number of nanoproducts and equipment developed in the previous [Iranian calendar] year (ended March 20 ) increased to 750, compared with 647 a year before.
Some 223 product manufacturing companies and 59 equipment manufacturing companies are active in the field of nanotechnology and by the end of last year, which developed a total of 750 products and equipment.
Of the 750 products and equipment registered in the nanotechnology product database, 535 were related to nano-products and 215 were related to nano-equipment, both of which have experienced a growing trend over the past few years, although nano-products have grown more significantly.
Saeed Sarkar, the head of Iran’s Nanotechnology Innovation Council, said in June that Iran has created centers in six Asian countries for exporting nanotechnology products.
China, India, Indonesia, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq have received Iranian nanotechnology products and services.
Iranian-made nanotechnology products are currently exported to 49 countries in five continents, he added.
Iran has been introduced as the 4th leading country in the world in the field of nanotechnology, publishing 11,546 scientific articles in 2020.
The country held a 6 percent share of the world’s total nanotechnology articles, according to StatNano’s monthly evaluation accomplished in WoS [Web of Science] databases.
Then a national contest was announced in a September 1, 2021 news item in the Tehran Times, Note: Some of the information in this news item has been repeated from the August 31, 2021 news item],
The second round of the 10th National Nanotech Contest will be held on Friday [September 3, 2021] with 308 university students competing in 21 centers nationwide.
As the most significant academic event in the country, the national contest is held annually in the five fields of basic concepts, synthesis, analysis, applications, and commercialization of domestically-made products, ISNA reported.
The first round of the event was held July 31-August 2 .
Finally, there’s a September 5, 2021 article by Faranak Bakhtiari about nanotechnology and drought abatement measures for the Tehran Times,
Iran is located in an arid and semi-arid region, and Iranians have long sought to make the most of water.
In recent years, the drought has intensified making water resources fragile and it can be said that we have reached water bankruptcy in Iran.
However, water stress will continue this fall (September 23-December 21 ), and the season is expected to be relatively hot and short of rain, according to Ahad Vazifeh, head of the national center for drought and crisis management.
In such a situation, officials and experts propose various solutions for optimal water management.
Alireza Qazizadeh, a water and environment expert, referring to 80 percent of the arid regions in the country, said that “Iran has one percent of the earth’s area and receives only 36 percent of renewable resources.
The country receives 250 mm of rainfall annually, which is about 400 billion cubic meters, considering 70 percent evaporation, there is only 130 billion cubic meters of renewable water and 13 billion cubic meters of input from border waters.”
Referring to 800 ml of average rainfall and 700 mm of global evaporation, he noted that 70 percent of rainfall in Iran occurs in only 25 percent of the country and only 25 percent rains in irrigation seasons.
Pointing to the need for 113 billion cubic meters of water in the current year (began on March 21), he stated that “of this amount, 102 billion is projected for agricultural use, 7 percent for drinking and 2 percent for industry, and at this point water stress occurs.
In 2001, 5.5 billion cubic meters of underground resources were withdrawn annually, and if we consider this amount as 20 years from that year until now, it means that we have withdrawn an equivalent of one year of water consumption from non-renewable resources, which is alarming.”
Rasoul Sarraf, the Faculty of Materials at Shahid Modarres University, suggests a different solution and states that “To solve ease water stress, we have no choice but to use nanotechnology and solar power plants.
A recent report by Nature Scientific Journal on Iran’s water crisis indicates that from 2002 to 2015, over 74 billion cubic meters have been extracted from aquifers, which is unprecedented and its revival takes thousands of years along with urgent action.
Bakhtiari’s article does not mention how nanotechnology can be a factor in mitigating water shortages, rather it focuses on the urgency of the situation.
For anyone who thinks that droughts and water shortages do not affect Canada, take a good look at the Canadian Drought Monitor map (as of July 31, 2021). In an area known internationally for its rainfall (Vancouver and Vancouver Island in British Columbia), we had drought conditions ranging from severe to extreme. As for the rest of Canada, the prairie provinces seemed to have experienced the driest conditions with Manitoba experiencing some of the most extreme conditions in the country. From all reports, this will not be unusual in the future.