Leading global graphene nanotube manufacturer OCSiAl, who has developed the world's only scalable technology for the industrial synthesis of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT), has built and launched a second production facility that expands its production capacity to 75 tonnes a year.
The new Graphetron 50 facility is currently the world’s largest plant for graphene nanotube production.
According to Yury Koropachinskiy, president of OCSiAl, the soaring demand for the tubes is closely related to the ongoing revolution in electric mobility.
“If we take into account the official plans of the largest global car manufacturers, just the Li-ion batteries for them would require 250 tonnes of graphene nanotubes in 2025," he said, at the facility’s grand opening ceremony in Novosibirsk Akademgorodok, Russia, on February 11, 2020.
It is not just the automotive industry that is interested. Aerospace, electronics the energy sector and many others are discovering the potential of single wall carbon nanotube additives. At NAUM’19, which took place last year in November in Japan, the Finnish company Arctic Biomaterials talked about how they are using Tuball nanotubes with sustainable and biodegradable plastics, creating biodegradable composites. R&D director Ari Rosling explained that by overcoming typical drawbacks in manufacturing, and reaching surface resistivity of 10^10-10^3 Ω/sq, with loadings of just 0.05-0.3wt% SWCNT, the biodegradable polymer nanocomposites were potentially applicable for direct delivery of electrical stimulation to a cell, and as tissue material for osteosynthesis and for neural and cardiac repair.
“According to several studies, applying even ten-fold more SWCNT, the composites were found to be cyto- and biocompatible. These materials can also with benefit be used as component material for transient electronics and anti-static packaging as these sectors strongly goes towards products with shorter use-phase periods,” he said.
OCSiAl markets the tubes under the Tuball brand and allegedly now holds in excess of a 90% share of the global production capacity of graphene nanotubes.
The company is already planning its next expansion. It signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 with the two ministries of Economy and of Finance of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to construct a graphene nanotube factory in Luxembourg. The new 100 tonne-per-year production line is scheduled for commissioning in 2023. The company has also opened two Tuball centres, in Russia and China, to provide support to customers in the region. At these centres, too, the focus is on the development of new nanotechnology breakthroughs. A third centre will open in Luxembourg this year.
In addition, 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.