Nanotech Product and Research News, March-April 2020

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France-based NAWATechnologies, a developer of next-generation energy storage systems, has completed its latest round of funding of €13 million, enabling it to enter mass production of its ultracapacitor cells. NAWATechnologies, founded in 2013, has developed an energy solution that can store 100x more electricity, costs 150x less than classical 400batteries and reduces five fold the environmental impact of growing battery waste. AWA’s ‘Ultra-Fast Carbon’ battery incorporates carbon nanomaterials.

 

Directa Plus, producer and supplier of graphene nanoplatelets based products for consumer and industrial markets, has been awarded EU grant for a project to develop an environmentally sustainable technology to digitally print its G+ graphene product on fabrics. The project will last for an initial period of 24 months and has a total value of some €1 million. The partners will work to develop the components and processes needed to print (using inkjet systems) G+ graphene onto fabrics for the textile market (apparel, upholstery and technical markets).

Graphene nanotubes producer OCSiAl has opened its second synthesis facility called Graphetron 50 with an annual production capacity of 50 tonnes. The total combined annual capacity of the two OCSiAl production units has now reached 75 tonnes of nanotubes, which are marketed under the TUBALL brand name. Three plants producing TUBALL-based concentrates and suspensions have already been launched in China and Japan, and one more will soon be opened in Brazil.for use in silicon anode materials, like lithium-ion batteries.

HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. and PyroGenesis Canada Inc. have jointly developed an innovative low-cost production process – called PUREVAP™ process which takes place in a silicon metal nano reactor – for producing spherical silicon metal nanopowders and silicon nanowires required for Lithium-ion Si batteries.
Spherical Silicon Metal Nano-Powders and Si Nanowires have been identified as key elements that will allow the manufacture of high-performance Li-ion batteries using Silicon Metal (Si) anodes needed to deliver on the research promises of an almost tenfold (10x) increase in the specific capacity of the anode, inducing a 20-40% gain in the energy density of Li-ion batteries. Current manufacturing methods for Silicon Metal Nano-Powders are expensive, not very scalable and not commercially feasible with US$ 30,000/kg1 selling prices while manufacturing Silicon Metal Nanowires is so prohibitive that only government-funded special projects can afford them.
Italian company NRC has used graphene in a new range of sunglasses, the Everest line. The glasses utilize a graphene polymer for enhanced strength, lightweighting and improved flexibility. Products can be purcahsed at https://www.nrceyewear.com/en/shop-online/graphene-sports-glasses-frame

Kemind Srl has developed new glue concepts for corrugators using Swedish graphene company 2D fab’s graphene. By adding graphene to the glue formula in the corrugating process, the company has managed to increase production efficiency, reduce costs and improve quality for various corrugated board products. Production efficiency increase of between 30-50% can be obtained for double and triple walled heavy grades, while energy and glue consumption in single and double walled board grades can be reduced substantially.

Advanced materials business Archer Materials has developed a first-phase prototype graphene biosensor technology built at the University of Adelaide ARC Graphene Hub. To create the biosensor components, graphene ink was printed on an array of 32 gold-plated nickel electrodes with micron-scale features. Graphene acts as a sensing interface to detect biochemicals.
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed an adhesive sheet composed of carbon nanotubes with extremely high thermal conductivity of up to 100 W/mK. Carbon nanotubes have high thermal conductivity and are seen as a promising technology for heat dissipation from heat sources including semiconductor devices.
The material remains difficult to handle due to its fragility, however, rendering it impractical for many purposes. To address this, Fujitsu has developed a technology for laminating vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, while maintaining their original characteristics of high thermal conductivity and flexibility, as well as a technology for bonding them with sufficient adhesion.
This technology will, according to the company. help support the cutting and handling of carbon nanotube sheets, making it possible to use them as a heat dissipation material, for example, in automotive power modules for electric vehicles (EVs).
Samsung Display will cease production of traditional LCD displays by the end of the year. The company is apparently turning its full efforts away from traditional liquid crystal displays and towards the company’s portfolio of quantum dot technology. Samsung previously announced plans to invest $11 billion in QD-OLED production, and now those plans are moving one step closer to completion as the company gets ready to wind-down traditional LCD production.

Tortech Nano Fibers has developed a carbon-based filter that can capture and destroy a strain of animal coronavirus. The filter is designed to protect against a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, the report said. The engineers believe it can be useful as an extra protection tool in confined spaces such as hospitals, automotives, and waiting rooms. Called TorStran, the thin carbon nanotube mat has the properties of filtration and air permeability that allow it to capture molecules in airborne droplets. The fact that it can filter and disrupt the virus at the same time can potentially make it an effective tool to reduce the risk of infection by removing contamination from the air. Tortech Nano Fibers plans to rapidly prototype and test the product to help with shortages of protective equipment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Graphene producer Talga Resources has been approved for Innovate UK co-funding to support development of an e-axle designed for Bentley Motors. The OCTOPUS project seeks to deliver a single unit e-axle solution to meet the luxury car manufacturer’s performance specifications through the use of optimised motor and power electronics technology and materials. Talga Resources’ role in the project is to develop and provide graphene materials for the high-performance electric motor windings to deliver an aluminium-based solution aimed at outperforming and ultimately replacing the copper windings currently used. Bentley and other automotive manufacturers are focused on the e-axle concept as a way to reduce vehicle weight and improve performance.

Following an open innovation call, Rolls-Royce has selected to work with The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) and its Tier 1 partner, Versarien subsidiary, 2-DTech Limited.
The initial programme of work will use the state-of-the-art chemical vapour deposition (CVD) equipment located within the GEIC. The collaboration will look to explore, understand and create technological advances surrounding the use of graphene and other 2D materials used in wiring for next-generation aerospace engine systems.

Hyundai is investing in Israeli nanotech startup Gauzy Ltd., leading a $10 million Series C funding round. Other companies that invested in the Tel Aviv-based company that manufactures light-adjusting windshields among its line of light control glass technology products, include Blue Red partners VC, and Avery Dennison. Gauzy develops liquid crystal glass laminates for smart glass for a variety of markets including construction, automotive and consumer electronics, anything from elevators to refrigerators.

LG Chem will invest 65 billion won ($53 million) by the first quarter of 2021 to expand production of carbon nanotubes at its plant in Korea. With the investment, the company will expand the annual production capacity to 1,700 tons from the current 500 tons. LG Chem is seeking to solidify its leadership position in conductive additives which are used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) as well as semiconductors, car components and aircraft fuselages. “By using carbon nanotubes as anode-conductive additives, we will be able to reduce the use of conductive materials by about 30 percent and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries,” the company said. LG Chem began full-fledged R&D to develop proprietary carbon nanotube technologies in 2011 and constructed a 20-ton pilot mass production line in 2013.

Cabot Corporation has completed its previously announced acquisition of Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials Co., Ltd (SUSN) for approximately $115 million. The business will be integrated into Cabot’s Performance Chemicals Segment. SUSN is a leading carbon nanotube (CNT) producer in China. The acquisition significantly strengthens Cabot’s market position and formulation capabilities in the high-growth batteries market, particularly in China, which is the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle market in the world. With this acquisition, Cabot becomes the only carbon additive supplier with commercially proven carbon black, CNT, carbon nanostructure and dispersion capabilities.

South Korean company Vatech is developing a portable COVID-19 diagnostic device utilizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and plans to apply for approval with Korean health authorities next month. The company has also just released a small computed tomography (CT) system tailored to diagnosing viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19 and other viruses and is waiting for sale approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company expects the FDA’s approval sometime in May, which will make the device available in the U.S. and elsewhere to diagnose patients affected with the virus.

 

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