May 26, 2008 — Nanomaterials producer Catalyx Nanotech, Inc. says it has begun manufacturing Platelet Graphite Nanofibers (PGNF) at a fraction of competitors’ costs on a small commercial scale. Current production capacity is 250-500 Kg per year at the company’s manufacturing facility in Burnaby, BC, Canada, but because of demand, Catalyx Nano is constructing a 35 ton/year capacity nanomaterials plant in Anaheim, California, scheduled for completion in late 2008. The company also plans to produce nanoparticulate polymers, ceramics, and precious/transition metal catalysts in nanopowder and alcohol/aqueous suspensions.
“A myriad of environmentally friendly applications for PGNF have not previously been economically viable due to their high cost,” said Juzer Jangbarwala, Catalyx Nanotech Founder and CEO. “Our unique production technology enables us to create cost-effective commoditized carbon nanofibers that may help advance numerous green technologies, such as Li ion batteries and certain types of wastewater treatment and gas separation, by making them economically viable.
Catalyx Nano says its high-purity, high-performance PGNF is priced comparable to high-grade graphite — and approximately 50-80% less than competing nanomaterials, while delivering consistent, superior quality product that exponentially out-performs high-grade graphite.
“The major hurdle in the large scale deployment of nanomaterials has been the cost,” said Jangbarwala. “We believe we have eliminated this hurdle by using low cost feedstock and obtaining virtually 100% yields of high purity materials in a single step. By making our carbon and graphite nanomaterials available at prices comparable to high quality graphite we enable customers to make higher quality, more affordable products.”
Catalyx Nano says it is able to achieve low-cost production by using key manufacturing patents licensed from Catalytic Materials, LLC (CML) for the simplified cracking of methane to elemental carbon and hydrogen with no byproducts. Two key patents focus on use of a bi-metallic catalyst to crack the methane to produce “soot free, 100% pure, structured platelet carbon nanofibers that have been proven to give exceptional performance as catalyst supports, electrodes for Li ion batteries, wastewater treatment media, and gas separation media,” the company says.
Catalyx Nano intends to install manufacturing plants at landfills to convert the produced methane gas into two useful materials: elemental carbon, which will be transformed into nanomaterials, and hydrogen, a valuable fuel source. Catalyx Nano plans a three-pronged decrease in greenhouse gases by eliminating the greenhouse gases resulting from 1) landfills burning off methane and 2) those typically generated during hydrogen production, as well as 3) the reduction in greenhouse gases realized when hydrogen replaces other hydrocarbons as a fuel source.
Catalyx Nano says its PGNF have proven to be excellent nanoparticle fillers for strength, electrical conductivity, and catalyst supports. The PGNF product can be pre-treated, pre-conditioned or loaded with catalysts for customers.
To assist in the exploration of nanomaterials applications, Catalyx Nano provides applications test services for clients under confidentiality agreements in its applications lab in Burnaby, BC, Canada.