Climate Control Technology for Fossil Energy

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
24 f
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Nanosonic, Inc.
1485 South Main Street, Blacksburg, VA, 24060
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Michael Bortner
(540) 953-1785
Business Contact:
Lisa Lawson
(540) 953-1785
Research Institution:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Linda Bucy
Office of Sponsored Programs
1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2006 (MC 0170)
Blacksburg, VA, 24060
(540) 231-5281
Nonprofit college or university
Concern over CO2 emissions and global greenhouse effects has prompted new uses for reclaimed CO2 effluent from coal fired power plants. Similarly, volatile organic solvent emissions have prompted an initiative to identify cleaner solvents for high performance polymer processing, particularly when such processing requires large volumes of environmentally unfriendly, toxic organic solvents. Furthermore, there is considerable interest in new solvents for producing advanced materials which are difficult to obtain by conventional methods, such as realizing the benefits of nanomaterials and nanotechnology in next generation polymer matrix nanocomposites, where particle dispersion and separation has proven challenging. NanoSonic and its STTR partner, Virginia Tech, propose to demonstrate the capability to implement supercritical CO2 as a broad use processing aid for multiple polymer processing operations. Targeted systems comprise an extremely broad range of polymer processing operations to ensure high CO2 volume requirements and subsequent marketability, and will include 1) organic solvent replacement for environmentally benign processing of traditionally hazardous solution processed polymers including microcellular polymer foams, and 2) uniform dispersion/exfoliation of nanoparticles, such as nanoclays and carbon nanotubes, in polymer matrices. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The primary target markets will specifically include high volume polymer composite markets, within which replacement of solvents with CO2 would reduce solvent waste generation from polymer processing facilities, as well as identify a method to implement significant quantities of reclaimed CO2. A broad range of consumer and commercial applications would benefit. Structural applications will all benefit via materials and composites with significantly enhanced performance and potentially significant weight reductions over currently used materials, directly translating to lower operational costs. Thermally conductive composites may be manufactured with higher performance and reduced cost compared to current methods. Thermal insulation materials may also be fabricated using controlled microcellular foaming and integration of low percentages of thermally insulating nanomaterials, useful for applications such as automotive firewalls or high performance insulations. Low levels of well-dispersed electrically conductive materials provide a facile method for low cost shielding or other conductive pathway integration directly into the composite materials.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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