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Biomed company Bayer expects nanotubes to explode in popularity

Bayer has opened a new Euro 22 million research facility that will be responsible for manufacturing new carbon nanotubes, according to a news report published on the Bayer News Channel.

Specifically, Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) will develop "Baytubes," a new multi-wall carbon nanotube technology.

"Current forecasts predict an annual growth rate of 25 percent for carbon nanotubes" said Dr. Joachim Wolff, BMS Executive Committee member, said in a statement.  "We are also expecting nanotechnology to create a total of 100,000 new jobs in the German industry in the medium term."

The new facility is expected to produce 200 metric tons of nanotubes each year.  

There aren't many CNT production facilities in the world, able to meet industrial-scale CNTs -- and this plant will specialize in Baytubes.

Baytubes are different because the modified carbon  is able to be added as a filler to help improve the mechanical strength to metal systems.  BMS offered an example of Baytubes being used in coatings for ships, offering higher abrasion resistance to help reduce wear over time.

The new Baytubes could also be used in skis, surfboards, hockey sticks, bicycle components and similar products. 

Baytubes could be used in numerous ways in a wide variety of industries, with BSN using "thermoplastic and thermoset systems and coatings."

Nanocyl, a Belgian biotech company specializing in nanotubes, is installing a reactor that will be used in nanotube production -- overall product capacity would be up to 400 tons per year.

Traditional multi-wall nanotubes are comprised of rolled layers of graphite, with a small number of carbon nanotube suppliers available.  For the expected growth nanotubes should receive in the coming years, there still aren't a lot of manufacturers available.   





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