Microwave Synthesis of Carbon Nanomaterials at Ambient Pressure

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 12/12/2016

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Applied Sciences, Inc.
141 W. Xenia Ave. Array
Cedarville, OH 45314
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

By incorporating microwave plasmas at ambient pressure—higher than can normally be accomplished for materials reactors—highly reactive plasmas will be used to process carbon nanomaterials at a two orders of magnitude higher reaction rate than previously accomplished. The result is a vastly simpler, ecologically cleaner process suitable for competing head-to-head costs with carbon black. Because nanomaterial price is usually above $100 per pound, these materials cannot compete in low-cost markets such as automotive and structural materials. By contrast, carbon black usually commands a price of a few dollars per pound, although specialty grades can sometimes exceed 100 dollars per pound. The key technology is an innovative “Plasma Igniter” that creates plasmas at higher pressure than formerly possible, allowing enhanced ionization due to microwave radiation, with total carbon supply higher by virtue of operating at higher pressure. Keywords: nanofiber, nanotube, fullerene, microwave, plasma, production, lithium ion, battery, anode