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SBIR Phase II: Advanced Fullerene Production
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This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop electron transfer methods for the recovery of the giant, insoluble fullerenes that comprise about half of the fullerenes made by the hydrocarbon combustion route. Of the fullerenes produced by the combustion process developed at TDA, and practiced at the tons/year scale, ca. 20 % of the raw soot weight is recovered as fullerenes (C60, C70, etc.). It was shown in this project that another ca. 15 - 20% of the soot could be recovered as giant fullerenes using electron transfer methods. This Phase II project will further research the chemistry of the insoluble fullerenes and develop the recovery technique using xylene-extracted soot as a feedstock. We will also implement the process at 100 times the scale performed during the Phase I project, to 100g insoluble fullerenes recovered per shift, to better identify and address issues in the chemistry and engineering of the process. Following the Phase II project, the process will be installed at a plant producing ~32 tons/year of insoluble fullerenes.
The process being developed in this project will be commercialized by fullerene soot producers, giving them the ability to effectively double the yield of the synthesis process. The recovered fullerenes will be useful for applications demanding a more robust, but still fullerenic material or coating, such as carbon coatings for artificial biomaterials, optical limiters, or as scaffolds for nanotechnological devices.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *