Combinatorial Screening of High-Efficiency Catalysts for Large-Scale Production of Pyrolytic Carbon NanotubesEPA Contract Number: 68D02028
Title: Combinatorial Screening of High-Efficiency Catalysts for Large-Scale Production of Pyrolytic Carbon Nanotubes
Investigators: Xiang, Xiao Dong
Current Investigators: Sun, Ted X.
Small Business: Intematix Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: April 1, 2002 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $69,957
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2002) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Plastic composite materials are increasingly used in manufacturing industries (e.g., in automobile components). They need to be coated for protective and decorative purposes. It has been found that electrostatic painting offers about four times higher paint transfer efficiency over regular spray painting. This will bring significant reduction of paint usage and volatile organic compound (VOC) emission in the automobile manufacturing process. For this process to work, a conductive plastic with appropriate fillers is required. Of the conductive fillers available, carbon nanotube has been proven the only viable filler to make strong and conductive plastic parts; however, its prohibitively high cost has deterred broad commercial applications. In this project, Intematix Corporation will address this critical issue using the pyrolytic production of nanotube. The key to reaching the target cost of $100/kg using the pyrolytic method is the highly efficient catalyst. Existing catalysts are not efficient in reaching the target cost.
Intematix Corporation will leverage its unique expertise in high-throughput screening technologies to develop highly efficient catalyst compositions that will deliver high-quality nanotube at the lowest possible cost in Phase I. This will pave the way for broad applications of carbon nanotube as fillers in conductive plastic part manufacturing. Preliminary results indicate that the high-throughput screening technologies are dramatically faster and more effective in large-scale screening and identification of promising catalyst leads than the conventional research and development approach.