NanoRDC – CEO Mag. Press Release 051408

Green chemistry brings carbon nanotubes
to water and alcohol based polymer
AKRON, OH—Discovered in the early 1990s, nanotubes are sheets of graphite rolled
into tubes about 1/50,000 the diameter of a human hair. Lauded for their strength,
resilience and excellent thermal and electrical properties, nanotubes have proved difficult
to integrate into the manufacturing process, according to Dr. Rick Simons, NanoRDC
President and Founder. “The rope-like structures of carbon nanotubes tend to form
bundles that are held tightly together by strong cohesive forces,” Simons said. “They
exist much like an entanglement of ropes that limit the capabilities of the nanotubes.”
Current methods for debundling and dispersing nanotubes include chemically treating
surfaces with expensive reagents that can alter the electronic properties of the nanotubes.
In addition, current treatment and dispersion technologies utilize environmentally NONfriendly solvents and chemicals. But Akron-based NanoRDC has a non-destructive
surface treatment and dispersion process that would provide customers with carbon
nanotubes dispersed as single nanotubes in environmentally friendly (“green”) solutions
such as water and alcohol. Our water-based and alcohol-based dispersions are ready for
use in customer’s existing waterborne applications and products. The breakthrough will
finally make carbon nanotube-filled materials a cost-effective venture, according to
Simons. Markets that will benefit from the water-based nanotube dispersion are coatings
and paints, textiles, adhesives and virtually any water-based or alcohol-based polymer
resin systems.
Commercially, nanotubes have been used in the following markets: to make stronger
bicycles that are extremely lightweight; plastics that conduct electricity like a metal; and
because they are also thermally conductive, they are used to dissipate heat generated in
tomorrows high powered electronic devices. Essentially, anything done yesterday by
metal components will be done tomorrow with lighter weight and stronger plastics that
contain nanotubes.
“Green chemistry was not our aim in the beginning.” “I just wanted to eliminate the
environmental and safety hazards associated with working with toxic and flammable
liquids such as chloroform.” Says Simons In addition, chloroform was extremely
expensive to purchase. The process was extremely costly even when we tried to recover
and reuse the organic solvent. The cost associated with doing business was high and it
made our product, “treated nanotubes” too expensive to be beneficial to compounders.
“Our carbon nanotube treatment and dispersion process is innovative, inexpensive and
completely scaleable for industrial applications,” he said. “Our customers will now have
the ability to produce conductive composite materials with exceptional strength using
their existing waterborne processing equipment.” In addition, the dispersions have a
remarkably high concentration of carbon nanotubes that range from 10 % to 15 % carbon
nanotubes in solution. “This is truly unprecedented and provides us entry into markets
that can’t tolerate carbon nanotube dispersions with low carbon nanotube
concentrations,” Simons said.
As a startup nanotechnology company, NanoRDC is beginning to gain recognition for
being innovative and persistent. We are persistent in the way that we have tried to
materialize on opportunities in the area. We were the first laboratory to begin operations
within the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Our tenancy has been mutually beneficial
to NanoRDC and the accelerator. The accelerator provided us with many assets a small
startup would have difficulty financing. Business consultancy, inexpensive rent and a
technology oriented atmosphere are just a few of the benefits that NanoRDC received. In
return, new startups and existing technology oriented companies that wanted to branch
out and expand their research and development capabilities took notice of the benefits we
were receiving from the accelerator and they wanted to be a part of this. The 8th floor of
the accelerator which consists of laboratories and small offices is almost at a filled
The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Summit Medina Business Alliance,
Inc., in Akron and also a fellow tenant in the Incubator, provided our start-up with
Business Plan development, Financial spreadsheet development, and consultation on
marketing and promotion of our products to local companies. This center introduced
growth opportunities through providing additional resources such as contact with the
Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center in Kent, Ohio. This
support contributed to currently manufacturing our first product for a local company and
having three more companies that will purchase monthly supplies of our water based
nanotube dispersions.
NanoRDC looks at the “Green” approach to our technology as another area that we can
try to capitalize on. We are trying to hit all the areas that funding is favorable.
Nanotechnology, green chemistry, renewable energy, etc are just a few of the areas that
can be exploited for revenues and NanoRDC is out to use any angle it can to meet our
ultimate goal as a small business. We want to be a financial success and be able to make
it through the expensive periods of research and development and commercialization.
And if we can do it without owing money to bankers and investment corporations we
have done a good job.
Additionally, NanoRDC is looking at partnering itself with one of our current customers.
A strategic partnership would give us strengths in areas that a small startup company is
lacking. For instance, it would demonstrate to the nanotechnology community that
NanoRDC will be here tomorrow. Also, NanoRDC would concentrate on its strengths
such as the technology and receive assistance in areas such as sales and marketing and
business planning. In the long run the correct strategic alliance will help us capture the
bigger opportunities.
Currently, NanoRDC is solely owned by the President, Rick Simons and NanoRDC has
no outstanding debts or loans.
For more information, please contact the Owner:
Contact: Rick Simons, President
NanoResearch, Development and Consulting LLC (NanoRDC)
526 South Main Street, #811
Akron, OH 44311
Phone: 330-376-1893