Nanotechnology creates and manipulates matter at the molecular level that makes it possible to create materials with improved properties, such as being both lightweight and having ultrahigh strength, and greater capabilities such as in electrical and heat conductivity. Many applications are possible for the energy industry. The oil industry already uses nanoscale catalysts for refining petroleum. Nanoparticles with unique catalytic capabilities are being researched to more effectively and efficiently refine thick, gooey oil sands into highly refined oil.
Nanotechnology may be a promising solution for the transmission and storage of energy, particularly electrical power and hydrogen. Nano-based materials may create new opportunities to transport electricity efficiently and at lower cost over very long distances.