Nanotechnology applied to sustainability

With this project, we have shown how nanotechnology can aid the oil industry to create eco-friendly asphalts, more sustainable refineries, and more efficient solar panels.

The smallest things can be the most sustainable

Nanotechnology has become a key strategic tool for industries ranging from medicine to electronics. It offers infinite opportunities and the idea of the Sónar Project is to develop a new strategic framework and take advantage of everything this technology has to offer.

Among the goals of the SÓNAR PROJECT are the removal of NOx based on a new catalysis process, improvement of properties in materials, new catalysts for refining, and storing energy and materials for photovoltaic production of electricity.

With the collaborative agreement with IMDEA Nanoscience and MIT, the Repsol Technology Lab has driven the Sónar Project. Over 40 scientists and researchers from both institutions brought together their experience and knowledge to study which nanotechnologies could be important for the oil and gas industry, when they will be available, and all the obstacles that must be overcome to effect these improvements.

The Sónar Project has exceeded all expectations as, with this collaboration and innovative workshops, more than 60 goals and 170 possible nanotechnological solutions were generated. Of these, 30 are of significant interest for the oil and gas industry.

The project heads will transfer the generated knowledge to future research projects, the first of which is focused on emissions reduction. 

Additionally, the use of nanotechnology will also be applicable in hydrocarbon exploration and production, with the development of sensors and new systems for enhanced oil recovery.

The Sónar Project has made it clear that in only a few years nanotechnology will be available that will help us to take on the challenges we are facing. To this end, our scientists and researchers will continue working day after day to analyze all of its possible applications.