Companies Invest In Nanotubes | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: September 5, 2007

Companies Invest In Nanotubes

Start-up Nanotailor targets single-walled tubes, while Bayer expands multiwalled tubes
Department: Business | Collection: Economy
News Channels: Nano SCENE

Nanotailor, an Austin, Texas-based start-up, has licensed a NASA process for producing single-walled carbon nanotubes that it says will lower costs for the nanomaterial.

The nanotechnology industry now relies primarily on multiwalled nanotubes because single-walled tubes are prohibitively expensive to make. However, NASA claims that its technology, developed at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, yields much cheaper tubes, in part because its process doesn???t use a metal catalyst.

Nanotailor says it has built a prototype nanotube-making system based on the NASA process and that it plans to go to market with commercial quantities by the end of 2007. "All industries currently using multiwalled tubes will be able to benefit from this technology," says Reginald Parker, Nanotailor???s chief technology officer.

NASA has already licensed the single-wall technology to Idaho Space Materials of Boise, Idaho, and the Baltimore-area firm E-City NanoTechnologies.

Meanwhile, Bayer MaterialScience has opened a second facility for its Baytube brand multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The facility, in Laufenburg, Germany, has an annual capacity of 30 metric tons and doubles the company???s capacity to 60 metric tons per year.

Bayer says the expansion makes it one of the world???s leading manufacturers of carbon nanotubes. It plans eventually to build a large-scale Baytube facility in Germany with an annual capacity of 3,000 metric tons.

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