Promethean Begins Nanomaterial Production at New UK Plant Facility

July 2016, Nottingham. UK-nanomaterial manufacturer Promethean Particles has successfully demonstrated its new production facility by producing a batch of refractory ceramic nanoparticles and confirming product quality is maintained.

With the potential to produce over 1000 tonnes of a variety of nanomaterials, Promethean possesses a disruptive platform technology for nanomaterial production which will allow production costs to be minimised and allow nanomaterials to access a wider variety of market areas where previously sale price has been prohibitive.

Commissioning of the plant has commenced and Promethean produced a batch of zirconium dioxide nanomaterials (n-ZrO2), a material used in a variety of electronics and coating applications, with an average particle diameter of 6 nm. Analysis of the product revealed that the material precisely matched the quality of n-ZrO2 Promethean has produced at lab and pilot scale demonstrating the scale-up reproducibility that is crucial to prove the viability of this technology at industrial scale.

The plant was developed as part of a pan-European nanomaterials research programme, with a total value of €9.7 million, which included partner universities and businesses from 12 European countries and included partner companies such as Solvay, Fiat, PPG, Repsol and others.

The outcome of the project was the creation of the largest multi-material nanoparticle plant in the world, based in Nottingham. The plant is able to operate at supercritical conditions, producing up to 200 kg of nanoparticles per hour.

Speaking about the successful production run, Professor Ed Lester, Technical Director at Promethean Particles said: “This new facility opens up a significant amount of new opportunities for us. We have already had a lot of interest from companies in a diverse range of sectors. From healthcare, where nanoparticles can be used in coatings on medical devices, to enhanced fabrics, where nanomaterials can add strength and flexibility to textiles, and in printed electronics, as we are able to print materials such as copper.”

Electon microscopy image of 5-6 nm n-ZrO2 nanoparticles

Electon microscopy image of 5-6 nm n-ZrO2 nanoparticles