Monday, 21 September 2009

Arkema upskales carbon nanotube technology

French chemical group, Arkema, are pushing further into nanotechnology by building a 400 tonne/year plant, scheduled for startup in 2011. Together with BayerMaterialScience, DSM and others, Europe is really pushing forward with this technology.

Here is some of the press release: "Arkema announced the construction of a carbon nanotube (CNT) pilot production plant at its Mont site (France, Pyrénées-Atlantiques). The 400 ton/year plant, scheduled for startup beginning of 2011, will operate an innovative process and will be the only CNT production plant in the world to use an entirely bio-sourced raw material.

In 2003 Arkema launched a research project to study CNTs and their applications. In 2006 Arkema started up at its Lacq facility the first pilot laboratory capable of producing some 20 ton/year of CNTs, sampled under the trademark Graphistrength®. Arkema in particular developed a range of innovative masterbatches that are easy to process within various thermoplastic, elastomer and, more recently, thermoset matrices. These high-tech masterbatches help optimize the application properties of end-products.

Arkema put in place from the very launch of the project a CNT-specific health-safety-environment initiative to ensure the protection of its employees, users, and the environment. Its code of conduct is based on three principles: prevention, permanent knowledge acquisition, and transparency with stakeholders in accordance with the advice of the January 2009 French Public Health Council.

Arkema has already established a large number of partnerships in various sectors ranging from electronics and transport, to renewable energies (wind, photovoltaics) and energy storage (batteries, supercapacitors) for the development of applications requiring enhanced performance in terms of electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and mechanical strength."

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