Sustainable Development Goals
Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Onahama Refining & Smelting Co, Tokyo University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Several Tire Manufacturers & Recyclers
Design & Engineering, Turn-Key DBC, Due Diligence, Supply Chain Management, Component Supply
Nanotechnology is expected to revolutionize our world much in the same way that airplanes and telecommunications did during the last century. By manipulation of atoms on a millionth of a cm-scale, engineers are able to create new materials with previously unimaginable properties. Nano-enhanced products are expected to account for 50% of all electronics and information technology products and over 25% of all healthcare products by 2025.
Mitsubishi Corporation, one of the world's leading trading companies, began working with Klean's technologies in the late 1980s and 1990s to apply its unique carbonization technology that is integrated with a synthesis and purification technology so that large quantities of low-cost energy, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes can be produced from alternative feedstocks such as scrap tires in a continuous process. The design of the system is based on the Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) Growth process in which unique chemicals are used to create a density gradient and the isolated carbon nanotubes gather in specific regions by type which can then be harvested as an isolated material. As the nanotubes are essentially forming during this synthesis process it causes the the material to act as either a semiconducting or metallic material. The nanomaterials are typically grown and sold as mixed structures. Semiconducting and metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes can be successfully isolated by density differentiation.
After decades of research and development and with early commercial operations underway ongoing research is continuing to advance material production purity. A joint pilot project was established in Japan in the year 2000 capable of producing 0.4TPA of nanomaterial. Since then production quantities have steadily increased as the project has been scaled up from its initial design capacity to now processing approximately 2,500,000 used tires exclusively (approximately 20,000TPA) for this purpose. With full-scale production due to start in the near term, the output is expected to be 7,000TPA of nano-recovered carbon black and 700TPA of carbon nanotubes. The parties involved have planned to further expand the production of nanocarbons tenfold by 2025.
A number of different materials are produced using Klean's technologies: