Nanotechnology Leader NanoDynamics Positioning for Expansion in Carbon Nanotube and Fuel Cell Markets; SBIR Phase II Award and New Patent Grant Further Company's Development of Commercial Nanotechnology Products
NanoDynamics has been working with the US Army since December 2004 to develop CNT-based solutions to soldier protection applications. Under an earlier Phase I SBIR, NanoDynamics demonstrated the feasibility of continuous, cost effective manufacturing commercial quantities of modified CNTs that show promise for use in smoke screening and other applications.
“Existing obscurant technologies can be limited in their performance. Carbon nanotubes offer a potentially unique solution, but they can be expensive to produce, with prices as high as $500 per gram. We have developed a method of synthesis that can dramatically reduce the cost of producing CNTs.”
"The protection of military targets is critical and is often accomplished using infrared obscurants to mask the movement of troops and materiel," said Keith Blakely, CEO of NanoDynamics. "Existing obscurant technologies can be limited in their performance. Carbon nanotubes offer a potentially unique solution, but they can be expensive to produce, with prices as high as $500 per gram. We have developed a method of synthesis that can dramatically reduce the cost of producing CNTs."
In addition to serving as obscurants, CNTs can impact a variety of applications in the commercial sector, including electromagnetic shielding and/or reinforcement of polymers and ceramics as well as enhanced thermal and electrical conductivity in composites, creating multifunctional materials. Examples of potential applications include coatings or composites for use in gas storage tanks and electronics components, intercalation media in Li-Ion batteries, and catalytic substrates for fuel cells.
NanoDynamics has already demonstrated the ability to incorporate CNTs during synthesis with other traditional reinforcing materials, such as steel and graphite fibers. It is expected that this "pre-compositing" will be of great value to end users wishing to incorporate CNTs into existing manufacturing processes. In order to further the commercialization of this proprietary technology for the economical synthesis of CNTs, NanoDynamics has entered into a Technology Commercialization Agreement with a major Japanese chemical company.
NanoDynamics also announced that it has been granted a critical US patent on SOFC structures. US patent number 6,998,187, entitled "Solid Oxide Fuel Cells with Novel Internal Geometry," describes ways of manufacturing compact durable SOFCs with high efficiency.
"Manufacturing fuel cells for optimal space utilization, robust construction and ease of manifolding is key to their success in portable power applications," said Dr. Caine Finnerty, Technical Director for Fuel Cells at NanoDynamics and the primary inventor of this important technology. "This patent describes some of the technology we have used over the past three years to increase the output of our cells by a factor of five, making them highly competitive in this rapidly developing field. Optimizing the internal geometry of the cell has helped to reduce losses associated with current collection and fuel utilization whilst providing some novel opportunities for gas introduction and system design."
NanoDynamics is active in a number of commercial and government-funded SOFC programs and last year announced plans to fast track commercialization of its system, which the company expects will be the first practical portable SOFC system on the market. The Revolution 50(TM) has been demonstrated to operate reliably over extended periods of time using conventional fuels, such as propane gas, which avoids many of the challenges associated with other fuel cells. The system's high power density and fuel efficiency are expected to make it useful in a wide range of applications, including combat soldier power and battery recharging, small marine power applications, portable refrigeration systems, industrial power tools, outdoor signage and advertising, and many others.
NanoDynamics is a diversified technology and manufacturing company utilizing nanoscale engineering to address some of the world's biggest challenges. With nanotechnology solutions ranging from energy, water processing, and personal and national security to medicine, electronics, advanced materials and consumer products, NanoDynamics is committed to delivering the Power of Nanotechnology(TM) to the global marketplace. For more information, visit the company's website at www.nanodynamics.com.