The Ohio Third Frontier Commission awarded Nanotek Instruments Inc. $1 million to accelerate commercialization of its nano graphene platelets-based electrode materials for next generation supercapacitors. Nanotek's NGP electrode technology offers the energy density of a modern battery yet can be recharged in less than two minutes. Nanotek will team with its manufacturing arm Angstron Materials Inc. on the project which promises to provide a breakthrough step in energy storage.
"The commercialization of supercapacitor technology is crucial not only to advancing the transition from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles, but to providing effective energy storage solutions for wind power, solar energy and modern grid systems," says Bor Jang, co-founder of Nanotek and Angstron. "The challenge has been the inability of conventional carbon nano materials to store a sufficient amount of energy per unit mass. Our NGP material has solved this low energy density problem by demonstrating an energy density that exceeds that of commercially available supercapacitors and is comparable with nickel metal hydride batteries."
Nanotek holds the earliest and most significant intellectual properties in graphene. The advanced materials company was the first in the world to file a patent application on pristine graphene and the first to use graphene for energy storage applications. Angstron is the world's largest producer of NGPs. Angstron's single layer graphene has exhibited the highest electrical properties including exceptional in-plane electrical conductivity. Graphene also offers a very high specific surface area - up to 2675 square meters per gram. By creating curved graphene sheets that resist restacking, Angstron was able to dramatically improve specific surface area and energy density for greater energy storage.
Nanotek will launch a supercapacitor prototyping facility in Dayton, Ohio as the first step toward commercialization. Angstron will establish a pilot-scale production line for the manufacture of supercapacitor-grade NGPs. A sub-contractor will evaluate the performance and commercial advantages of the graphene-enabled supercapacitors. Funds will be used to purchase equipment for small-scale production and fabrication of electrodes material. The project scope will also include evaluation of the supercapacitors by potential customers, partners and investors as well as filing of international patent applications.
Angstron Materials offers a variety of graphene materials in sizes ranging from nano to micron in the x, y and z axis. These advanced materials are collectively referred to as nano graphene platelets (NGPs). NGPs offer improved material performance and superior mechanical, thermal, barrier and electrical conductivity properties. As a result, Angstron is able to work with companies to functionalize graphene for specific applications that include batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, light weight structural components as well as electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI), electrostatic discharge (ESD), lightning strike and other functional and structural composite applications. Angstron uses its research and development expertise to partner with customers throughout the commercialization process, reducing time and costs while improving performance. NGPs are surface functionalizable for polymer and common solvent applications and can offer loadings of up to 40 percent weight for a variety of applications. Angstron combines real world technology to create next generation products in the aerospace, automotive, energy, marine, construction, electronics, medical, military and telecommunications markets.