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Large-scale production of carbon nanotubes

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Last month, Zeon Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; www.zeon.co.jp) started up the worlds first mass-production plant for high-grade carbon nanotubes (CNTs) at its Tokuyama facility in Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. The plant produces CNTs with more than 99% purity using the Super Growth (SG) method, which was developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; Tsukuba City, Japan; www.aist.go.jp), with support of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO; Kawasaki, Japan; www.nedo.go.jp). Zeon has been participating in two NEDO-funded projects from 2006 to 2013 in which Zeon developed the mass-production technology for making CNTs, based on the SG Method that was discovered in 2004 by a team led by Kenji Hata at AIST. Since 2011, Zeon and AIST have been operating a demonstration plant and disseminating technology by providing samples. They succeeded in synthesizing homogeneous SG-CNT on a metallic substrate (500 mm x 200 mm), with a production rate 17,000 times higher than that of the original work by Hata. The SG-CNT process uses a small amount of water within the vapor phase of the synthesis atmosphere, which remarkably enhances catalytic activity, catalytic life and growth…
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