Low-Cost Arc Process to Produce Single-Walled Nano-TubesT Using Coal-Based Starting Materials

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
2001
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
DE-FG03-00ER83042
Award Id:
54972
Agency Tracking Number:
60756S00-II
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
7960 South Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ, 85706
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
R. Loutfy
President
(520) 574-1980
rloutfy@mercorp.com
Business Contact:
James Withers
Chief Executive Officer
(520) 574-1980
jcwithers@mercorp.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
60756 Recently discovered fullerene nano-tubes (also known as Single-Walled Nano-Tubes, SWNT) may have wide applicability because of their unique structure, as well as their physical and chemical properties. This project will develop a continuous reactor to economically produce high-yield SWNT using coal-based materials. The proposed reactor will utilize a flow-through design and allow control of production parameters, including catalyst composition and particle size, catalyst/coal ratio, temperature of reaction and annealing zones, and reaction time. The use of low cost coal-based materials as source of carbon, catalyst, and promoter will assure the low cost of the product. Phase I demonstrated that SWNT in good yield can be produced from coal based material. A plasma system, based on inductive coupling plasma, was developed and tested. Although the SWNT products were produced at moderate yield, the approach was shown to have potential for large-scale production and to be synergetic with the coal powder form. In Phase II, a flexible reactor design will be developed to introduce coal-based materials in powder form. A mathematical model that takes reaction parameters into account will be used to simulate the SWNT production process. The approaches will be scaled-up to produce commercial quantities of this novel and versatile material. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: High-yield, low cost SWNT should find a significant market in such applications as field emission devices, memory devices (high density memory arrays, memory logic switching arrays), Nano-MEMs, AFM imaging probes, distributed diagnostics sensors, and strain sensors. Other key applications include: thermal control materials, super-strength (100 times steel) and light weight reinforcement and nanocomposites, EMI shielding materials, catalytic support, gas storage materials, high surface area electrodes, and light weight conductor cable and wires.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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